Response 1 – Facechange (5.1)


This game is cool 🙂 I played it about 5 times in a row all the way through just to grab a screenshot of the last Congratulations you won page…with its suggestions for activism. It goes away after about 10 seconds, and the only way to get it back is to play the whole game again 🙂 So, I did! And I got better and better at playing it, though my total time increased, which is their point 🙂 Time wasted clicking “like”! I’m pretty proud of achieving the screenshot…that was a game in itself!


[So Cynthia drafted a letter to her state representative, Lindsey Graham, and included it here as part of the response]

Download PDF – letter-to-lindsey-graham

TEXT of Letter Below:
May 3, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham
Golden Corner Regional Office
124 Exchange Street, Suite A
Pendleton, SC 29670

Dear Senator Graham:

I have never written to a Senator before, and for that I am profoundly ashamed. The reason I am writing to you today is that some very sharp undergraduate students at The University of Texas at Austin have created a web-based game, Facechange, that tackles the problem of “slacktivism,” which is a slang term for the social media practice of supporting or objecting to a cause without said support/objection actually having any real effect. It is often seen as something that makes people feel good, such as clicking the ‘like’ button on a Facebook page or link. These students, Will Tangney, Katie Tiller, David Hook, and Jacob Philpott, created the game because they hoped to make a strong point that Facebook slacktivism is a waste of time that could be spent engaging in the public sphere through taking action. You may find their game here:

The point of my letter is to both respond to these students by taking up their call to action and to respond to you on the matter of your vote on the bill S.47, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. To the students I want to say thank you for creating a playful way of presenting a powerful argument, namely, do something beyond ‘liking’ a Facebook page. Their game, Facechange, is grounded in a rhetorical understanding of motive and identification…two concepts that allow me to shift to my response to your vote against S.47, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. Specifically, I am deeply concerned about your motive for voting against this important legislation, and I find it equally disturbing that you would (in so voting) identify yourself (and your constituents) as somehow in favor of violence against women. I have shaken your hand on several occasions at a small restaurant across from your office in Pendleton, S.C., where I have lunch with colleagues on Fridays. I hope that the next time I see you there, I will have the opportunity to discuss your position on violence against women, and perhaps play a bit of Facechange with you.


Cynthia Haynes
Associate Professor of English