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Assessing the Potential Risks Associated with Facebook Game Use

Abstract

This study used the psycho-structural taxonomy proposed by King et al. (International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 8(1), 90–106, 2010a) to examine the structural characteristics of two genres of Facebook games (Tile Matching games and Simulation/RPGs) to investigate their potential to encourage and maintain Problem Video Game Play (PVGP). Ten of the most popular Facebook games were played by the first author for between two and three hours per game. Recurring structural characteristics influencing the researcher’s behaviour or considered to be problematic were noted and compiled according to the taxonomy. Both genres appeared to have the capacity to encourage the development and maintenance of PVGP. While Simulation/RPGs appear to promote more problematic use than do Tile Matching games, both tended to use similar features to promote player engagement. Further in-depth research is needed to understand the psychological impact of playing Social Network Games, and how this may lead to, or encourage problematic use of these games.

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Correspondence to Steve J. Groves.

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Groves, S.J., Skues, J.L. & Wise, L.Z. Assessing the Potential Risks Associated with Facebook Game Use. Int J Ment Health Addiction 12, 670–685 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-014-9502-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-014-9502-5

Keywords

  • Social networking games
  • Video games
  • Reward mechanics
  • Structural characteristics
  • Problem video game play
  • Internet addiction