Tag Archives: social games

Metrics for social impact games #g4c2011 (more livestream blogging)

Chris Swain speaks about taking a pragmatic approach to social impact games: Use a successful model like “play for free” successfully exploited by companies like Zynga.

To achieve measurable impact on social causes beyond awareness, establish a metric for your impact. Can the activity of your game player create an impact?

To create a meaningful impact, you need to achieve  mass reach.

To do this a game needs to…

  • be entertaining
  • be distributed online
  • leverage a social graph
  • be free but….marketed for a mass reach (controversial; “free to play business” with small numbers of players paying, creating profit)

Swain notes that social games get primetime TV-size audiences. “More people play Farmville than watch CSI.”¬† Creators of social impact games should try to leverage this.

How do you measure the average impact of the player by using built-in game metrics?

Swain’s game platform is Ecotopia:¬† “a free-to-play game with a social conscience, advances the popular city-building game model as it aims to wrap fun and compelling gameplay with philanthropy and real-world involvement” (quote from MMOABC).
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Some panels of Games for Change are being livestreamed,