Games Can Fuel Social Change

January 12, 2010 -

Videogames can provide new and effective ways to raise awareness and engage users, prompting an article that asks whether they might be the future of social change.

A piece on Change.org builds its case around a successful promotion put on by Zynga’s social game FarmVille, which allowed the game’s players to buy special seeds to benefit Haitian charities. The Sweet Seeds for Haiti drive ended up raising over $1.0 million dollars.

The article compares Zynga’s successful implementation to one that is more old-school:

…a consortium of foundations and online giving platforms were sponsoring America's Giving Challenge, which put up almost $250,000 in bounty for nonprofits to engage their supporters. In a month, almost 8,000 competing nonprofits raised a total of just over $2 million. One of the biggest pushes in our field basically had the same level of return as releasing a virtual freaking seed.

If that doesn't raise some eyebrows, it should.

While contributing to social change is good and all, the author worries a bit about “videogame-embedded philanthropy” taking the place of real-world positive actions, though he views it as an opportunity for non-profits:

I worry a bit that for those whose first taste of good is this sort of video game embedded philanthropy, they will feel like their experience of having contributed is good enough. That the input of buying a charitable good equals an output of feeling and having done good, and that is that. Of course where the real opportunity lies is in the conversion of those passive supporters to active users. That may be a great place for creative nonprofits to focus next.

Zynga’s Mark Pincus thinks that the future charitable virtual goods market could be worth a billion dollars.


Comments

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

Gaming is simply another form of expression, therefore it can give a social expresssion.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

heh, no wonder the older generations are so scared of gaming.

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

I would think that PennyArcade's Child's Play charity drives are a better example of enacting social change than anything Zynga could pull off.  Granted, it's a bit more abstract as a social change mechanism, as people would have to realize that hospitals, with ever-decreasing budgets, are being forced to cut things to make a patient's hospital stay more bearable, but PA isn't being sued, either.

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You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

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Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

…but PA isn't being sued, either.

at least not successfully. ZING!

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

Isn't Zynga the target of a class action lawsuit for unethical business practices? Hardly the kind of company we want to push the whole "Games can benifit Humanity" angle, if you ask me.

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

Not to mention its chairman is on record proudly boasting at how he takes money to push scams, malware, scare-ware and other shit onto his players through those "special offers" the games provide to earn more gamepoints.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

Like any other medium I guess it can change society.... but really...... society in whole or part uses it to change....or brow beat other parts into the light......


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

"Zynga’s Mark Pincus thinks that the future charitable virtual goods market could be worth a billion dollars."

And I bet he loves the idea of skimming a percentage of it for his company to cover "expenses".

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

That is his cut.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Games Can Fuel Social Change

A true philanthropist. /sarcasm

He's nothing more than one of these people who ride in on the back of causes and charities to make money out of peoples good will.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
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Matthew Wilsoncall me a pc elitist if you want, but I prefer 60 fps. that being said, Nintendo is one of the few developers that makes all their games at 60 fps. Platum does that too.10/23/2014 - 2:52pm
james_fudgeNeo_DrKefka agreed.10/23/2014 - 2:42pm
prh99Saddly Ubi has locked AC:Unity to 900p on consoles at least and 30fps for everything in the name of parity, and in the case of latter issue for a "more cinematic" feel.10/23/2014 - 2:36pm
PHX Corpa little PSA, Tonight is SSB4WiiU's turn at the nintendo direct at 6pm edt http://www.twitch.tv/nintendo I will be also hosting the Stream on my Twitch.tv page http://www.twitch.tv/trustygemtwitch10/23/2014 - 2:27pm
Andrew EisenBayonetta 2 allegedly banned in Saudi Arabi (but not Bayonetta 1). http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91759010/23/2014 - 2:26pm
prh99Not surprising, it's their MO. I don't think there really much more to be said for GG's values at this point.10/23/2014 - 2:24pm
Neo_DrKefkaPlaces like TheRalphRetort are trash10/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Neo_DrKefkaBoogie who stood on the fence trying to find a neutral ground and peace was called out for the RalphRetort and called evil for doing so but when Boogie was doxxed and came into the folds of GamerGate all of a sudden he is forgiven.10/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Papa MidnightBut it's not about harrassment (http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/10/23/3583347/felicia-day-gamergate/).10/23/2014 - 1:58pm
Papa MidnightIn other GamerGate news, Felicia Day (gamer and actress (Eureka, Supernatural), posted her concerns about GamerGate. Doxxed within the hour.10/23/2014 - 1:58pm
Papa MidnightNot for nothing, but considering how Ubisoft titles tend to be horribly unoptimised ports, those requirements actually seem low - especially if you plan to consistently run at 60fps (I'm looking at you "Black Flag" and Splinter Cell).10/23/2014 - 1:55pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-rumoured-to-be-steep/10/23/2014 - 1:54pm
Neo_DrKefkaI'm upset at all parties but a cue to replace one bad apple for another does not solve the problem. Perhaps I expect to much out of #GamerGate because the early streams were about progress & solutions now they are about a persons ego talking about drinkin10/23/2014 - 1:35pm
prh99Honestly I've never liked Gawker, and considering their own behavior the self righteous indignation in the wake of GG rings a bit hollow. If my email causes them to lose money I will not feel even a twinge of guilt.10/23/2014 - 1:00pm
Papa MidnightNeo_DrKefka: Till outlets such as IGN and GameSpot so much as even acknowledge the mere existence of "GamerGate", I highly doubt it will affect their modus operandi anytime in the future - near or otherwise.10/23/2014 - 12:26pm
Neo_DrKefkaWhat GamerGate is essentially doing whether people like it or not its going to change the gamingmedia but inturn its also going to replace some outlets & practice the same wrongs they claim they fought against. Its happening already look at TheRalphRetort10/23/2014 - 12:18pm
Neo_DrKefkaIf a company claims it supports the Klan or another offensive organization than the advertiser needs to make sure they're brand is not tainted so they pull they're ads. One side does not determine the right to determine what is universally offensive.10/23/2014 - 12:14pm
Neo_DrKefkaActions have consequences however. If you do a Bioware and insult EA's customers would you be suprised if they lost advertisers and customers? Advertisers are not giving money to charity to they putting ads to make money.10/23/2014 - 12:13pm
Matthew Wilsonwhile I disagree with people pushing pressure on advertisers, consumers do not have many other options to show there disagreements with a article or writer. if people are going to do it, it should be for somthing much worse then that guy did.10/23/2014 - 12:10pm
Neo_DrKefkaNow they are about KingofPol & InternetAristocrat making streams that are bait and switch Streams that claims they are about GG but are about them getting drunk and them making fun of Autistic people10/23/2014 - 12:09pm
 

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