Flight Papers

feminism and creativity, art, madness, and play


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Damn the Facebook app list is depressing.

A few bumper sticker / button / anarchy patch programs, which are kindof meh, but at least cute. A whooole bunch of games where the whole point is to bite / claw / jab / zombify / whatever as many of your friends as possible, so they can get to play the game, too! Which involves… biting, clawing, jabbing, or zombifying as many of their friends as possible. Which has no effect other than to make the userbase grow to omg and make the “developers” a whole bunch of ad money.

Also, there are ten billion quizzes. With a similar parasitic, advertising-driven model.

It’s to Facebook’s credit that they’ve managed to keep this explosion of stupid crap from making browsing Facebook a completely intolerable experience. But seriously. Scrabulous and Chess and, obviously, my favorite Meaningless Black Square, are amongst the best apps on there. And they’re just straight-up ports of tabletop games.

It’s not exactly I expect some great revelation from Facebook apps. I expect that many of them will be things that you could do outside of Facebook, but it’s a bit easier to do on Facebook. Scrabble and other long turn-based games are one nice example; forums would be another. It’s nice to have these apps all in one space, where they’re easy to share with your friends without all the hassle of getting a new account somewhere. They aren’t mindblowing, but they’re still pretty cool.

That being said, having easy access to a relatively complete social graph is fairly novel, and I think there’s quite a bit of unexplored space there. I think the most promising developments are more creative and community oriented. Facebook’s groups are a start, but we may want more or less formalized versions, with more or fewer modes of expression available. I know there are probably some apps exploring this, but they’re so fundamentally buried that it’s depressing. I don’t know if there’s actually any there there, and I don’t know exactly where this line of development leads, but I think it’s at least interesting.

More interesting, at any rate, than finding out which Harry Potter slash pairing ARE YOU?!.


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