I just completed a quick educational study in social gaming scams. I still don’t understand all the many nuances of the scheme, but it doesn’t sound right to me.
At one time, I wanted our online party application to be considered a social game, but now I am rethinking the association.
From now on, AlbinoPhant is not a social game, but is a Gift Sales Facilitator.
This title is not nearly as catchy as social game, yet it does describes what we do… Maybe we should have an acronym in the title, like GSF party game…
The fact is that we have a great deal of social features in our party game. So we could be considered a social game. There are multiple players joining in a game, and there is a comment stream with shared videos and images on the game play page…. But, we are NOT a game using offer-scams. We are a party game, with REAL gifts to offer. Yes, real gifts that are purchased in eCommerce and shipped directly to each players door.
The stories of these social game scam bother me, and I want no part of the association…
My first introduction to this issue was in an Andrew Chen blog post titled: Are social gaming offers scamming users? A detailed analysis of Techcrunch’s Scamville article.
Andrew’s discussion led me to a link back to the originator of this apparent firestorm, Michael Arrington of Techcrunch. I read Michael’s post and concluded that for sure, don’t want to be called a social game.
This “offers” business seems like a grab for money in an industry that has challenges finding monetizing solutions. Frankly, I am sad to hear that gaming customers are being treated badly and that legitimate advertisers are being drug through the dirt by these negative associations.
So here is how a Gift Sales Facilitator/GSF party game works:
* First, you recognize that people are sharing gifts (real gifts not virtual mumbo jumbo) with each other during the holidays and at events all year long.
* Next, you find the most common party activity that groups use to socialize and share these gifts with each other.
* Finally, you build an application that facilitates the sale of the gifts, and provides a fun way to pass the gifts around in an online party game.
Mix those 3 components into a social network platform and you get a gift sales facilitator on Facebook…
I wish that I could have used the descriptive title of a Social Game. It might be easier to market than breaking new ground. But I choose to distance our White Elephant Party and future products from the mud-slinging, and just pioneer a new category:
I also realize that there is a bunch of money flowing through the Offers model. But when I look at how many birthday, wedding, graduation and holiday gifts are purchase every year, I say…. Let me facilitate some of that honest and profitable action.
For now just call us a Gift Sales Facilitator or maybe a GSF party game.
The AlbinoPhant Creators
Your Party 2.0 Specialists