Facebook is the Gamification of Socialization

Both a distortion of socialization where the game is to be loved.

Facebook is a Game

Game designer Robin Hunicke has noted that Facebook is actually a complex, massively multiplayer online game, with challenges, rewards, and levels just like any other. Think about it for a second and you'll realize that the rules are simple: be the most fun, intelligent, witty, caring version of yourself. The benefits are obvious, Hunicke observed: Facebook "makes people feel like they matter, like they have friends and family across all kinds of distances," she said. "How many games make you feel loved.


Folksonomies: social media gamification


Social Media Distorts Socialization Through Gamification

The problem with social media isn't that we aren't sure how much privacy we want to have or how long the things we say should stick around. The problem is that social media is a gamification of social interaction, and it causes us to behave in ways that we normally wouldn't.

In normal life, people don't take turns loudly stating their political opinions to a room of people and then looking to see how many people agree with them. They also don't have product placements or subtle advertising injected into their normal conversations. They also don't obsessively and continuously call up other people to see if they have any interesting new content to share.

Social Media is not just a tool that we use to communicate with each other along the lines of a phone or messaging service. It is a platform that is designed to be addictive and to carefully meter out hits of dopamine to keep people coming back. The current popular social media platforms aren't popular because they provide a nice service that people enjoy, they're popular because they exploit weaknesses in human behavior and cause people to use them obsessively and unhealthily. The customers that are funding these platforms and driving the design are not the people that use them, they are advertisers that want their ads to be as targeted, subtle, and as widely viewed as possible.


Folksonomies: social media socialization gamification