Notes about social media

October 17, 2011 permalink

Who Killed Videogames Social Games Psychology

Game design is about crafting a micro-economy. Even in an action game, every action the player or an enemy can perform is a stock or a bond or a unit of currency that can be traded for something else. As the screen scrolls from left to right, Super Mario Bros.’s market fluctuates. One fireball can buy one dead koopa. The points at the top of the screen can’t buy anything. Given enough time and a spreadsheet, I could tell you how many dead Goombas a Bowser fireball is worth.

From who killed videogames (a ghost story), an insightful essay on the addiction psychology of social games and the strange motivating forces that lure people into plunking down money on intangibles, the nefarious angle of so-called gamification.

“The players will come for the cute characters, and stay for the cruel mathematics.”

I think I’ll go read a book now…

(Via O'Reilly Radar)