Players of facebook games and how they play

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This study examined the characteristics of people who play social network games-games that incorporate network data from social network sites. Using the framework of uses and gratifications with social cognitive theory, we conducted a survey (N= 164) of Facebook game players and identified four motivations and unpacked play into seven different types. We then looked at the relationships between motivations, types of play, and individual characteristics such as gender, age, and cultural differences. We found that motivations previously identified as being "social" split into two categories: building common ground with existing acquaintances, and design-driven reciprocal behavior. Building common ground was associated with stronger use of space customization, spending real money, communicating about game achievements, and exchanging gifts. However, we found that more people were using the games as a coping mechanism and to pass time rather than using it for social purposes. Individual differences are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalEntertainment Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


  • Casual game
  • Customization
  • Facebook
  • Reciprocity
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Social game
  • Social network game
  • Uses and gratifications

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