I don’t play games on computers anymore but interesting take on how to spot ‘dark pattern games’ vs healthier ones… - https://www.darkpattern.games/
Mirrors my own recent thoughts. I’ve cut out a certain game that made up 90% of my gaming time because of the grind and repetitive gameplay.
I’ve found one good use of mobile gaming. That’s to break the endless cycle of scrolling if I find myself doing it
Not just games either - it’s the dirty side of design, gamification & behavioural economics.
I’ve definitely played games before that felt compelling, but not fun & then caught myself thinking wait… why am I even playing this?
There’s straight up deception sometimes, but a lot of it is hijacking parts of our motivation.
A lot of similar methods are positively (UX, learning, positive habit forming and self development etc.) but as the aims are a bit different it can be harder to do.
Rather than getting more play-time or daily active users etc. which can be short term & based on extrinsic motivators, longer term often needs more work to tie things into meaning & progression to make it stick (see Self Determination Theory rather than B F Skinner’s Token Economies/Operant Conditioning).
Games & social networks use intrinsic motivation too, but it can be a bit forced, just a simulation/spectacle and doesn’t necessarily tie back the things the person wanted or supported before they started.
That can be shallow/manipulative when it takes you away from what you thought you were getting from it, but keeps you hooked with points/badges/leaderboard and neat little behaviour loops leaving you grinding (or micro-transacting) in games or infinite scrolling social media.
I thought this was a good post on the Social Media aspect:
(sorry for the long post - one of my pet topics )
Chap what I used to work with made this site which was picked up by the new york times a while back
It’s a really handy bit of terminology to help think about these things - whether you’re a victim, or if you’ve been asked to deliver something like this.
For myself, I recognise I have an addictive streak, and when I pick up on a game I do tend to play it too much for too long. Eventually I wise up and get out. Almost every time, in my case, it’s not been a commercial or a monetised game, just something which has the kind of gameplay that really appeals to me.
I could recommend a few of these games, but it would be a disservice!
what games do you play Ed? Do tell!
Let’s see… these are all mini games, not your AAA product:
Wow, ‘Twenty’ is rather addictive isn’t it! Sort of reminds me of Tetris but with numbers instead of lines haha
I did warn! Looks like I spent three years playing that. (The web and app versions offer slightly different kinds of gameplay.)