A&E Facebook Parking WarsTo promote their new show "Parking Wars," A&E Television commissioned area/code to develop an innovative Facebook game. Facebook Parking Wars has become one of Facebook's greatest hits, with over 400,000 players signing up to play in two months.
Parking Wars is a pioneer in the emerging genre of "social games." These are games that build on existing social networks (like Facebook or MySpace) to create new forms of interaction and entertainment. In Parking Wars, players earn money by parking -- legally or illegally -- on their friend's streets. Players also collect fines by ticketing illegally parked cars on their own street.
This simple dynamic has produced complex and passionate play patterns, with some players waking up at night to move their cars. Other players wait for friends to go on vacation to take advantage of "free parking."
The engagement is measured not just by the number of users, but by their daily involvement. Fewer than 5% of registered users are active in most Facebook apps, but 30-40% of Parking Wars players are active in the game on any given day. This has yielded over 250,000,000 page views in two months. Its success has led to feature articles in BusinessWeek (1,2) and wide coverage across various media (1,2).
Perhaps most importantly, the game contributed to the successful premiere of Parking Wars on AETV. As one commenter wrote:
Honestly, I would go weeks without checking facebook if it were not for Parking Wars. Oddly, it even made me watch of few episodes of the show.
ringtone as collective cheer
|Numb3rs / Chain Factor
persistent play, GPS telemetry, live sharks
|The Sopranos A&E Connection
live television, sync-to-broadcast
semacodes, camera phones, treasure hunt, giant game pieces
mobile, GPS, multi-player
Wi-Fi positioning, laptops, mobile browsers
mobile, camera phones, image processing
|Media Res Server