links for 2010-12-06

  • A Facebook campaign which purports to fight child abuse by asking users to change their profile picture to that of their favourite cartoon character has run into controversy.
    The campaign, which urges the image swap, has swept through the social networking site and boasts a group page which has nearly 90,000 fans.
  • he latest one seems to be changing your picture to a cartoon character to raise awareness of abuse against children. Seeing all these ‘happy cartoon characters’ around is supposed to remind us, I guess, of the fact that not all children have such happy wonderful existences. In case, you know, we somehow forgot that the human race can occasionally be absolute arseholes to those who least deserve it.
  • Last week on December 1st to support World AIDS Day, a small group of celebrities with millions of fans led by Alicia Keyes decided to sacrifice their digital lives to try and save real ones. The campaign, cleverly called "Digital Death" was supported by posters, online ads and a well branded microsite. The premise was simple: a group of celebrities forego using Twitter or Facebook until $1,000,000 in donations are raised for their cause. Anyone involved with the idea might have guessed that this would last for a day or two before the target was met. It has been five days and the donations still haven't even hit $300,000.
  • Part of the reason why we don’t hear more about compulsive behaviour in games is that the subject has been buried under a mountain of more serious (yet also ridiculous and unsupportable) assertions, such as the notion that games cause violence or rot young brains. The games industry has rightly opposed these neanderthal-like ideas, but unfortunately the battle with the media has created an adversarial relationship and caused gamers to become incredibly defensive – despite the fact that everyone who makes and plays games knows that in rare cases, they can lead to compulsive behaviour, but no one really wants to say or do anything about it.
  • Ad spending on social gaming increased 60% since 2009, according to eMarketer. No doubt advertisers have noticed that 56 million Americans are playing social games and that the branded virtual goods market is booming. But more than just social gaming’s growing popularity has gotten attention from advertisers. Social games also represent an environment that is largely conducive to advertising.

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