Games and goals

So I fell victim to a few rounds of games while waiting for the
comforters to wash.

About two rounds each of a tetris knockoff and the bubble shooter with
the cute little guy loading bubbles.

My dollar quickly reminded me how different games used to be, back
when someone had a financial incentive to have you lose around level 3
or so.

I’m usually fairly decent at both games, but I was quickly killed off…
all four rounds took about 10 minutes.

Games just aren’t like that anymore.

But then, they don’t have a reason to be.

When you’ve bought the game already, they already have all of your
quarters upfront, so it’s not about keeping you losing, it’s about
making you feel like you got your money’s worth so that you’ll buy the
next one they put out. They want you winning, but feeling like you’ve
earned the win.

When you are playing the game for free online, it’s all about keeping
you playing to keep you seeing the ads paying for it. They want you
winning a bit, then losing a bit, but just barely… enough to keep you
trying again and again.

And so the games may have the exact same elements… and still be
completely different experiences based on the goal of the developer.

Which makes me think… about the goal of my developer.

And be very glad that it isn’t for me to pay as much as possible for my experiences.

Nor is it to give me unearned and meaningless victories.

Skill learning may not be the most fun all of the time… but I have to
remember that it does make me the best “player”.

Even when it feels like that stupid wall keeps pressing my bubbles at
me way too fast… the developer is still programming with my best
interests as the goal.


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