DAT 401 – Research Task – Portfolios

Kylemcdonald.net – Social Roulette


Kyle’s portfolio site (http://kylemcdonald.net/) comprises a high-contrast grid layout with teaser images and text excerpts. A simple colour scheme serves to highlight different sections and links to project sites and contributors.

Social Roulette

Based on Russian roulette, Social Roulette is a game of chance where participants, rather than risking their lives, have a one in six chance of their Facebook account being deleted.


Personally, I have, from time to time, deactivated my Facebook account to ‘take a break’ from the seemingly endless minutiae of people’s lives. I have not, however, had the urge to delete my account permanently and question whether this is, in fact, possible. So, while the consequence of the game is not original, the mechanism by which the outcome is decided (a chance to tear down my wall, posts, photos, videos, memories and interactions at the whim of a ‘game’) I consider to be pretty original.


The question of whether Social Roulette is an appropriate means to determine the fate of your Facebook account is, I think, somewhat subjective. It should, perhaps, be left to the individual to decide to keep or not to keep their account. However, players who are ambivalent about the pervasiveness of social media may see Social Roulette as a means of abdicating their responsibility and leaving the decision to chance.


“Facebook’s more than 1.44 billion monthly active users around the world spend an average of 20+ minutes per day on the social network, liking, commenting, and scrolling through status updates [which] accounts for nearly 20% of all time online.” (http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-much-time-people-spend-on-facebook-per-day-2015-7?r=US&IR=T)

This investment of time and effort that Facebook users make, of course, increases the jeopardy of Social Roulette. However, there appears to be no corresponding benefit to not losing. Unlike Russian roulette, where you keep your winnings and your life, Social Roulette lets you keep your account which, depending on your attachment to your investment, is either a good thing or a relief – see the quote from FaltyDL: “I still can’t tell whether I won or not.” (http://www.socialroulette.net/)

There seems to be a theme in Kyle McDonald’s work involving identity, self-awareness and possible loss of identity. Social Roulette could be included within this theme as it deals with the possibility of loss of on-line identity.  It’s interesting to consider the impact on those users of Facebook who ‘live’ through social media and those that project an identity through this medium, be it an extension of their actual identity or an alter ego.

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