Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Social games are "evil"

There is interesting article at gameindustry.biz and PCgamer where Jonathan Blow chats about the evil minded game companies like Zynga etc. And I agree with him.
I think it also shows part of reasons why I stopped playing WoW sometime ago.

So here's what usual evil designer thinks:


'My goal is to get people to think about my game and to put more money into my game and get other friends to play my game to the exclusion of all other games and all other things that they might do with their free time.' 

That is the job description of those designers. And that's evil. It's not about giving people anything. It's about taking from people.

PC Gamer: Do you blame the player? I mean, is it the player’s fault for getting involved? Even if they don’t realise they’re being harmed?


But the thing about these games though is they’re made to look really light and friendly or whatever. So it’s very difficult especially for someone to think about games and how their design affects the world – which is most people in the world, they don’t think about that, right?
It’s very difficult for them to see how this could possibly be detrimental in any way. They’re just like, “Oh, I’m clicking on the items, I’m having fun”. You know, whatever.

27 comments:

  1. This was very eye-opening. You bring up alot of valid arguments. I look forward to reading more about these kinds of things. +1 follower.

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  2. Like the pic :-)
    http://baxxmans.blogspot.com/

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  3. Not sure I agree that being motivated by profit is inherently evil, but certainly, "social" games are habit forming/addictive by design. That aspect could certainly be called evil.

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  4. idk what to say about this.

    Good post, followed!

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  5. Well done, you are absolutly right. Thanks for keeping it straight.

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  6. Social games can be really bad if you don't know your limits, the world is so f*cked up sometimes it's normal to want to escape

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  7. everyone just want to make money, so do the developers. can u realy blame them ?

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  8. Good post! Very thought provoking!

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  9. Sure, that's the brain of a designer! Who doesn't think that way is pretty wrong. Everyone just wanna get rich.

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  10. I stopped playing WOW 2 years ago and have never looked back since.

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  11. I agree with your comments about this.

    Maybe thats why Minecraft has been a huge success, due to that it focus on fun and not eating the players life.

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  12. Oppss... I forgot, Minecraft is not a social game, but I hope you get the point.

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  13. @Naturalscienceblog
    Yes that is good point.
    I think lots of indie games are much more caring about the player, as it's nice way to gain good reputation etc.

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  14. This is a good post. Very true

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  15. Good blog mate, following :)

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  16. There's an actual science behind making a game addicting. It all boils down to giving the player an artificial feeling of being rewarded. The work becomes pleasurable, and the loot becomes very very real.

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  17. The ding sound when you complete a quest or level up is like the bell for Pavlov's dog. This is especially evil with monthly fee games. That's why I prefer GuildWars.

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  18. Great post! I will follow you!

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  19. OH lord, Zynga games. I've had to block every single one on facebook because the spam became unbearable. I have little interest in those unfun, complete wastes of time.

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  20. this is very scary

    and i don't play these games

    and i pitty those who spend real money on them

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  21. Should I release my game? In-house purchases are not a bad thing - It allows for expansion! NoiseDiary

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  22. This is an all-time trend of going for the easier. With games it first was the decline from pc towards game systems because they were easier, cheaper and more social. Now it's the same with crappy half-games like zynga's - again, they're easier, cheaper and more social.

    On the other hand, I presume that most people playing fb games are ones who didn't play any games before.

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