The functional and usable appeal of Facebook SNS games

Kuo Hsiang Chen, Kai Shuan Shen, Min Yuan Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the appeal of social networking services (SNS) games from the perspectives of game usability and the functionality that is facilitated by the internet. Why players prefer SNS games to other types of games and what specific characteristics causes them to be addicted to continuous game play are the two critical issues to be probed. Design/methodology/approach: The authors interviewed 11 experts and surveyed 321 gamers using a questionnaire to gather the data about their preferences. The authors believe that a preference-based study can reveal the underlying reasons for the appeal of SNS games. The collected data were analysed using Quantification Theory Type I. Findings: The semantic structure of appeal, determined from the interviews of experts, shows the hierarchy of the relationship between the types of appeal or appeal factors, the reasons for gamers' preferences, and the specific characteristics of SNS games. According to the statistical analysis, the three most important appeal factors of SNS games are "easy and convenient", "friendly and lively" and "social interaction", and these are affected in varying degrees by particular reasons and characteristics. Practical implications: Based on the findings, the paper hypothesises that the popularity of Facebook SNS games can be ascribed to the design of game, which targets the psychological preferences of players. Originality/value: SNS games have become very popular due to some of their appealing characteristics. The findings provide important information for designers and researchers of Facebook SNS games. The study also contributes to the field of human-computer interaction in cyberspace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-481
Number of pages15
JournalInternet Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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