By Jamie Crager, Scott Ayres, Melanie Nelson, Daniel Herndon, Jesse Stay

Games are hosted on Facebook’s App Center page. The left side of the screen displays some of your latest game notifications, which include invitations to games or a notice that your friend has made a move and it is your turn. (You need to be logged in to Facebook to see game invitations.) The bottom part of the App Center page displays the following information about other games:

  • Suggested: Personalized game suggestions.

  • Top Rated: The games rated the highest and used most frequently.

  • Trending: Games whose use is growing rapidly.

  • Friends’: Games that your friends have used recently.

  • Top Grossing: Games with the most in-app purchases.

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The main part of App Center displays promoted games (at the top), new games, top games, and trending games.

Finding the games your friends are playing

You can find out what other games your friends are playing so you can join in the fun. Check out one of the following:

  • App Center: When you go to the App Center page, you see which games your friends are playing. Scroll down and click the Friends’ tab. You see a list of games and other apps with information indicating which friends are playing these games (or using these apps).

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  • Invites and news feed updates: If you’re invited to a game by a friend, you can rest assured that your friend has been playing that game. Many of the games have an Invite option. This feature makes Facebook games social! You can access any invites by clicking the Requests link in the left sidebar.

Allowing games to access your information and timeline

Whether you are discovering games on your own or have received an invitation from a friend, games request access to some of your information and your timeline.

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The permissions that games need vary, but in most cases they want to know the following:

  • Basic information: This category includes general information in your timeline, such as your name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, and list of friends. Games might need this information to access your friends list to suggest people to invite. Or a game might want to use your name or gender to properly address you within the game. Games also use this information for marketing, to display relevant ads.

  • E-mail address: The e-mail address associated with your Facebook account might be shared so that the game can send you notifications related to the game or other e-mail content. The e-mail content will always be game related in some way, but it might include suggestions of other games made by the same developer or notifications that it’s your turn if you’ve been engaged in a game with a friend.

  • Your birthday: You are giving the game permission to access the day you were born.

  • Publish games and app activity: The activity referenced here includes your scores in a game or other accomplishments. This activity might be published on your timeline. Your activity is populated automatically when you use Facebook. Games and any other apps have to be granted permission to do this.

  • Publish to Facebook as me: You are giving the game permission to post an update on your timeline as if you posted it. The game will post something related to the game, which may include status updates, notes, photos, or videos. You can select a privacy level to determine who can see these updates.

It’s up to you to allow games to access your timeline. In most cases, the game will only request permissions for the functions required for you to use the game. Some permissions are optional, which means you can still allow it but have to confirm before the game takes the specified action, such as posting on your timeline or sending invitations to your friends.

These actions are permitted in advance but don’t happen without your knowledge. They are part of the game activity. To permit access to a game, click the Play Game button or the Send to Mobile button on the right side of the game’s page.

Inviting friends to a game

After you enter a game, the next step is to play. Because games are more fun with friends, many games prompt you to invite your friends and share the game with them. Some games are designed to play with others, such as Scrabble. When you enter the game, the game prompts you to invite friends.

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Many games give you the option to send an invite to a group of friends by selecting from your entire friends list. In the case of the DoubleDown Casino game, you get more chips for game play when you invite your friends.

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Accepting invitations from friends

When you go to the App Center page, you see your pending game invitations from friends. These invitations allow you to accept or decline the invitation. To accept, all you have to do is click the Accept button on the right side of the invitation, and the game opens. (Remember that the app will ask you for access permissions at this point.)

Blocking unwanted games

You can always decline invitations to games. In addition, you can go a step further and block invitations from a game. When you receive an invitation from a game that you want to block, click the Ignore All link in the text of the game’s invite. (The link is usually in blue and appears below the game title.)

By clicking Ignore All, you will no longer receive invitations from any of these games. If you change your mind, you can always go directly to the game to gain access.