Diversity through Facebook: USA Network's Social Circle promotes acceptance in gaming
According to USA Networks vice president of digital Jesse Redniss, "[Social Circle] is more of a thought catalyst, which is a little bit of a different approach to gaming. In gaming traditionally you're faced with a challenge, you complete the challenge and you get rewarded for it through points or virtual items." Redniss believes this game is more about using game mechanics to cause self-reflection and perspective on their diversity.
Find out more about USA's next Facebook game behind the break.
The more questions you match up with the correct friends (and one friend per question, folks), the higher your diversity percentage will rise. It's this number that you'll be showing off to your friends through post sharing and might inspire other friends to join in. This might sound like a good time, but I wouldn't take your diversity percentage as direct evidence or allow it to complete boil down to a number or an achievement. Redniss wants much more than that to come of Social Circle.
"I think the goal here is to raise more awareness," Redniss says. "[Social Circle] is really part of the bigger Characters Unite initiative in which we're looking to get everyone around the world to think about how they can push the boundaries of fighting against racism, sexism or really any other 'isms' out there. Rather than just pushing a PSA down their throat, we're utilizing the Facebook platform to attach a gaming element to this initiative."
"When you think about gaming in general, it really all goes back to storytelling--they have great characters," Redniss says. "What we're looking to do is utilize your friends and their diversity to tell a story of who you are and how diverse you are. And it's on the Facebook platform so [this story] will easily, virally spread."
While Social Circle might not be your run-of-the-mill Facebook game, it's refreshing to see a game that literally tests your friendships rather than equate them to more free gifts. Perhaps if more social games included gameplay elements that helped players to foster their friendships rather than use them as a tool for success, we'd see more connection in the various social game fan pages other than the rabble of "Add me!" posts.
Play Social Circle on Facebook Now >
What do you think about social games' potential to inspire critical thought? Has a social game out there today ever changed your perspective on an issue? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.