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.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

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.

--------------------------------------------------

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.

---

Patreon

Deviantart

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".

--------------------------------------------------

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.

--------------------------------------------------

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

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MattsworknameNight man, take care08/04/2015 - 2:59am
Andrew EisenOff to bed. Play nice.08/04/2015 - 2:53am
Andrew EisenNo worries. Yeah, it's the pits. It's like "How many times do I have to tell you I'm not interested in this producer's work before you stop recommending his videos to me?!"08/04/2015 - 2:53am
MattsworknameAndrew: Sorry man, youtubes recomendations system is really crappy08/04/2015 - 2:49am
MattsworknameIp: they cite 4 chan. Enough said08/04/2015 - 2:47am
IronPatriotWhat I don't get is why anyone wants to be part of the private online army for a stalker.08/04/2015 - 2:32am
IronPatriotYes, it's pretty sad that even after GG has been exposed as a fraud designed to harass Sarkeesian, they still want to attack her. Do facts even matter anymore?08/04/2015 - 2:30am
Andrew EisenDammit. For context's sake, I watched that one Chris Ray Gun video Matt linked to and now my recommends are chockful of anti-Sarkeesian crap from the usual suspects. ARGH!08/04/2015 - 2:27am
Andrew EisenIP - Now you just essentially asked Matt the same question twice in a row. Seriously, once is enough.08/04/2015 - 2:11am
IronPatriotMattsworkname, do you have any actual evidence for your "complete bollocks" claim? Or are you making up more "facts08/04/2015 - 2:11am
IronPatriotMattswork, prove your claim that the article is "based on complete bollocks"08/04/2015 - 2:08am
Andrew EisenIP - Stop asking me the same question over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It's super annoying. Especially when I've already addressed it.08/04/2015 - 2:07am
Andrew EisenMatt - How? Set aside half an hour. It's not hard if you know your history. It's just time consuming.08/04/2015 - 2:06am
IronPatriotAndrew, so you agree about the lying fraudulent nature of gamergate's origins? So supporting gamergate when it is clearly a fraud deserves to be called what it is, right?08/04/2015 - 2:06am
Andrew EisenFrom an ethics standpoint, there's nothing wrong with that article or posting news on subjects that are of interest.08/04/2015 - 2:05am
MattsworknameAndrew: the toughest thing about Gamergate is that it lacked any form of directed leadership or oganizaotion, How do you really explain something so amourphous that it leterally took months and moths to gain any real shape?08/04/2015 - 2:05am
Andrew EisenIP - A metric crap ton of history and context. GamerGate isn't hard to explain, it just takes a while.08/04/2015 - 2:01am
MattsworknameAnd ip wonders why gamergate went after sites like ARS and kotaku08/04/2015 - 2:00am
MattsworknameWow, its like ARS posted an intentially controversial article based on complete bollocks to get clicks, Imagine that?08/04/2015 - 1:58am
Mattsworknamehttp://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/arstechnica.com08/04/2015 - 1:58am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician