Uderstanding how people interact with facebook games

facebook games

Some conlusions of peoples interaction with facebook games according to an academic research

Table 1. Main Reasons for Starting to Play a Game on Facebook (Responses=712)

Reason Percentage
Boredom 28%
Received an invitation from Facebook friends 26%
Saw many Facebook friends playing 21%
Read/heard good reviews 7%
Saw advertisements of the game 7%
Game company recognition 4%
Liked the graphics 4%
Miscellaneous (e.g., thought a Facebook game looks fun) 2%

Note: Respondents could select more than one answer for this question.

In addition, the top reasons why these respondents stopped playing a game on Facebook included being bored with it, the game was too time-consuming, the game required real-world money for it to be fun, and not having enough friends on Facebook who played the same game (see Table 2). The three games the respondents frequently reported that they have stopped playing are all Zynga’s games: FarmVille (32%), FishVille (7%), and Mafia Wars (7%). Of the Facebook games that had been dropped, 64% could be categorized under the Simulation category (e.g., FarmVille, FishVille). Finally, many reported that the longest duration in which they have quit playing a Facebook game was either at least a year (39%) or several months (35%).

Table 2. Main Reasons for No Longer Playing a Game on Facebook (Responses=616)

Reason Percentage
Bored with the game 34%
Game was too time-consuming 20%
Game required real-world money for it to be fun 11%
Not enough friends played the game 10%
Too many bugs/glitches in the game 7%
Found a better game on Facebook 6%
Game did not have new updates 4%
Game was too easy 3%
Miscellaneous (e.g., annoyed with game requests/invitations) 3%
Game was too difficult 1%
Stopped using Facebook 1%

Note: Respondents could select more than one answer for this question.

Facebook Game Cash/Credits

Of the 287 respondents who reported playing a game on Facebook, 8% (n=24) reported to use real-world money to purchase Facebook game cash/credits. In terms of how frequently these individuals purchased Facebook game cash/credits, the majority (79%) indicated it was not very often (i.e., a few times per year, less than a few times per year, or only once). On average, they reported to spend $24.25 (SD=$26.32) per year on Facebook game cash/credits. Additionally, these individuals reported that the most amount of money they have ever spent on a single purchase was $17.54 (SD=$21.82).

Approximately 27% (n=76) reported that they had completed an advertisement request on Facebook to earn game cash/credits. Many (70%) of these individuals also indicated that completing advertisement requests is not something they did very often (i.e., a few times per year or less than a few times per year). The three most common advertisement requests they reported to complete were to watch a video (37%), complete an online survey (36%), and download/try an app (36%). Furthermore, a chi-square test of goodness-of-fit showed significantly more respondents completed an advertisement requests (n=63) than spent real-world money (n=11), or performed both activities (n=13) to obtain Facebook game cash/credits.

Other Facebook Game-Related Activities

The respondents were asked to select which sharing setting on Facebook they mainly used to share their Facebook game-related posts (e.g., posts generated by a game to request help or show achievements). Forty-five percent (45%) of the respondents indicated that they did not share any posts generated by Facebook games, while others used the “Friends (Only)” (28%), “Custom” (8%), or “Public” (8%) setting. When asked if they ever used a customized sharing setting to restrict the Facebook game-related posts among the friends who play Facebook games, many reported “No” (40%) or that they did not know that such a task was possible to do on Facebook (36%).

In addition, these individuals were asked how often they engaged in the following activities on Facebook: visit a Facebook game’s community forum, visit a Facebook game’s help page/section, visit the wall of a game on Facebook, and send a game invitation to someone on Facebook. Overall, results reveal that respondents were not likely to engage in any of the four mentioned activities very often (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1. Frequency of involvement in other game-related activities.

Content Analysis of What People Liked and Disliked About the Games on Facebook

In order to examine the main attractions and problems with Facebook games, respondents were asked to list 1 to 5 things they liked and disliked about the games that they currently played or have played on Facebook. All “N/A” or “Don’t know” responses were eliminated from the final list. Each response was then categorized into groups in order to look for patterns.

Respondents reported that some of the main things they liked about Facebook games were that the games were fun or entertaining, allowed them to play with their friends or other people on Facebook, provided a good way for them to waste some time, and were easy to play/control. Some of the major things respondents reported to dislike about Facebook games were that the games became too time-consuming to play, needed real-world money for games to be fun/worthwhile, had too many bugs and glitches, and quickly became boring. Table 3 and Table 4 summarize the categories of likes and dislikes about games on Facebook.

Table 3. Categories of Likes about Facebook Games (Responses=615)

Like Category Percentage
Entertainment Value 17%
Social Connection 17%
Escapism (e.g., waste time, being in a different world) 16%
Ease of Play 13%
Special Features (e.g., good music, customization) 7%
Challenging 6%
Appearance (e.g., cute, colorful, good graphics) 5%
Game Type (e.g., simulation game, word games) 4%
Miscellaneous (e.g., annoyed with game requests/invitations) 3%
Achievements-Related (e.g., having goals to work towards) 3%
Ease of Access 2%
Miscellaneous (e.g., good way to safely play an online game) 2%
Creativity 2%
Price 2%
Game Story & Missions 2%
Variety (e.g., different types of games offered on Facebook) 1%

Note: Respondents could write more than one answer for this question.

Table 4. Categories of Dislikes about Facebook Games (Responses=573)

Dislike Category Percentage
Time Related (e.g., time consuming, too much down times) 21%
Cost Related 13%
Functionalities (e.g., load slow, bugs and glitches) 11%
Boredom 10%
Notifications 7%
Game Play (e.g., too easy/simple, too many quests) 7%
Friend-Dependents (e.g., needs friends or neighbors to progress) 6%
Distraction 6%
Repetitive 6%
Spams & Securities 5%
Miscellaneous (e.g., not as good as console games) 4%
Game Quality (e.g., poor graphics, poor music) 3%

Note: Respondents could write more than one answer for this question.

The “Ideal” Facebook Game

Finally, respondents were asked to select the essential features that they would want to include in an “ideal” Facebook game. They were asked to select as many features as they wanted. The top four essential features included fast loading time, good graphics, game rewards, and an option to play game without needing real-world money. Table 5 provides a complete list of essential features.

Table 5. Essential Features of the “Ideal” Facebook Game (Responses=2942)

Essential Feature Percentage
Fast loading time 9%
Good graphics 8%
Game rewards 6%
Option to play without needing real-world cash 6%
Challenging missions/quests 6%
Option to play game without adding friends 6%
Competition 5%
Option to easily customize privacy settings 5%
Customization of characters’ appearance 5%
Music 5%
Sound effects 5%
Option to name characters 5%
Option to socialize with other players 4%
Discovery/exploration 4%
In-depth storyline 4%
Option to build relationships with other characters in the game 3%
Help/tutorial 3%
Teamwork 3%
Option to hear the characters’ voice 3%
Option to share game rewards/accomplishments 2%
Cheat options 2%

Note: Respondents could select more than one answer for this question.

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