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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 18, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

‘Friendzy’ confuses students on campus

“Pick, Play, Steal and Eat!” The catchphrase of the Facebook game “Food Friendzy” may sound straightforward, but some students are confused by the frenzy of alterations to the rules and interface of the game.

“Food Friendzy” is a Facebook game launched in 2008 that allows college students to win coupons toward food at participating restaurants listed on Campusfood.com, an online food ordering service.

Robert Saunders, marketing manager of Campusfood.com, said Food Friendzy creators launched the revamped game in August with the hopes of making the game more entertaining.

“We found in our monthly research that … accumulating points for [a single day] was just more of a fun, interactive way to [play],” he said.

In the old game, players had three rounds each day to click on and match up three tiles, which had restaurant coupons, Campusfood Cash or other prizes on them. Players had an endless amount of clicks as long as they avoided the ominous “You Lose” tile, which would end the current round.

Now, players have three rounds and seven clicks per round to collect points, which they can then exchange for coupons at the end. Aside from now having point tiles, the new game has other special tiles — one of which allows players to steal points from one another.

Saunders said creators wanted to add a level of competition for players and their friends.

Senior Daniel Haack, who has been playing “Food Friendzy” for about a year, said he enjoys the new experience the game offers.

“Some of the changes are really cool,” he said. “I love the whole stealing and giving points element. It’s become a little game with some of my friends.”

Several students, however, are still trying to figure out how the new game works.

Playing since the application first came out the spring of his freshman year, junior Josh Canu said the game is confusing, and “the new layout takes some getting used to as well.”

After playing three daily rounds of “Food Friendzy,” the points a player earns during the game can be swapped for eligible coupons or entries into a weekly random drawing to win $100 in Campusfood Cash. Warnings in the game state that players cannot save the points they earn because cumulative points are used to determine player rankings in different player networks: Every time players start a new game, their points start at zero.

Though some students are confused about the change, sophomore Robert Hoyuela, who has been playing “Food Friendzy” since last year, said students will grasp the changes if they read the instructions.

“I just picked up on the new version,” he said. “If you pay attention, it says right there you cannot save points.”

Junior Kaitlin Clark, who plays the game once a day and is currently ranked first place in the Ithaca College network, said her personal success comes from skill and a bit of luck.

“You never know what tiles you’re going to get so it honestly is just the luck of the draw,” Clark said. Clark, like Canu, has been playing since the game was first launched.

Sophomore Siobhan Cavanagh, who started playing “Food Friendzy” last year, said she used to get more $3 coupons in the old game, while in the new one she usually gets smaller amounts.

“It’s nice that you can get a coupon almost every time,” Cavanagh said. “[Though] you had a better chance of getting a good coupon last time.”

Saunders said that the odds of getting a coupon are generally the same, though the company is still working on strengthening the odds.

He advises players to read the rules that appear before they click “Play Now” and to post any questions they may have on “Food Friendzy’s” Facebook wall.

Kevin Sullivan, owner of the downtown restaurant The Connection, a participating Friendzy restaurant, said he thinks “Food Friendzy” is a great idea because it encourages students to use coupons to save money.

Though Sullivan said it is too early to tell if the new “Food Friendzy” game is promoting more students to order from his restaurants, he said his company has seen a better response to coupons over the years.

“Our $3 coupon has over a 20 percent response rate,” he said.

Sophomore Mitchell Murdock, who has played “Food Friendzy” since last year, said though he and other students may be puzzled by the changes at first, they will come to terms with them because of the reward.

“I don’t think people are going to stop playing ‘Food Friendzy,’” he said. “Though the changes are annoying, the prospect of free money overpowers confusion.”