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Current Social Games Aren't Fun, Says MUD Co-Creator 111

Speaking at Gamerlab 2011 in Barcelona, MUD1 developer Richard Bartle had harsh words for the current state of social gaming: "The big thing about social games that they don't like to tell you, is they're not actually social. Games played on social network sites is what we mean by social games ... These games are categorized more by the platform than that they are social themselves. The way they engage their players is not through interesting gameplay, it's done through extrinsic rewards — basically bribes. ... The difference is, social games rely on the extrinsic rewards so as to be compelling. People keep playing the game because it keeps giving them things — rewards. This has led to gamification. In the hands of designers, this has a great deal of potential, but unfortunately it's not in the hands of designers, it's in the hands of marketers."
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Current Social Games Aren't Fun, Says MUD Co-Creator

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  • by DMFNR ( 1986182 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @06:53AM (#36631884)

    It seems like the people making the games these days are focusing less on the actual game play and the "fun factor" and more on achievements and hooks too keep people coming back. It's the easy way out for them, they know a lot of people will keep forging on just to get that next achievement and post about it on their Facebook wall. I know it worked for me when I was younger with Pokemon! Even though the gameplay was incredibly boring and repetitive, I keep trudging through it just so I could get the next Pokemon. The only "social" factor of these games are all of the item requests and such that are posted to friends walls, making them feel like their left out if they're not playing, or even making them feel like they need to play because hey, "Tom needs to plant his seed and needs a hoe". These new social games are just a big scheme to get people to play so they can watch the ads, or spend extra money for in game purchases. Until people stop playing these games it's never going to change, they think we're eating their shit and loving it. I actually think a lot of people do. It's a casual kind of gaming for them, and it seems like the people who play a lot of these games don't get out much, so they stick with it because they're hanging with their buds too I guess.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @07:52AM (#36632108) Homepage

    Solitaire games are still among the most widely played games on computers. I can't say they can be classified as "fun." They are particularly good at being a distraction, clearing the mind and passing time. Playing games is often used for those moments when such things are desired.

    Some games are even the source of anger and frustration -- is that "fun"? I am quite sure a few people will answer "yes" but for most people, that's actually not the case.

    For most people, they seek "reward" after a challenge. Having the reward is fun for people, but to road to getting there is quite often not fun.

    So what is "fun"? I like riding my bicycle. Some games are genuinely fun to me... perhaps this weekend I will load up an old computer with Win98 and set up XWing vs Tie Fighter or something similar. THAT was a fun game. But fun for me and fun for others are different things.

User hostile.