Scoring on Facebook: How To Play the Social Networking Game

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 5 2013 1:44 PM

Scoring on Facebook: How To Play the Social Networking Game

Last week, Future Tense took part in Emerge, a conference at Arizona State University that is dedicated to designing the kind of future we want to live in. (ASU is a partner with Slate and the New America Foundation in Future Tense.) As part of Emerge, participants in assorted workshops created videos, journals, plays, and more to imagine different parts of our future.

The video below comes from the “Future of Play” workshop, which was led by science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson and transmedia producer Caitlin Burns. Using deadpan anthropological voice-over, workshoppers John David Sparrow, Joseph Junker, Chris Danowski and Ashley Czajkowski lay out the rules we all abide by in playing the game of Facebook, “in which players share mundane details of their lives to compete for social influence.” In this framing, Facebook “likes” are essentially points—though some “likes” carry more weight than others (such as the sympathy “like”). That’s just one reason why our relationship with Facebook is … complicated.

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Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.