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Killing Fun by the Numbers

Posted Jun 15, 2010 by Jon Wood

Killing Fun by the Numbers's Bill Murphy writes about the trend of MMO games to forget to "add the fun" and instead focus solely on how to keep us paying that $15 a month.

We’re all rats. 

We get set down into a box and we’re told to press a button over and over until we are assigned rewards at random intervals.  If we stop pressing the button, we get electrified by the grid below our feet: a diabolical way to keep us pressing that button.  It’s a clever way to keep us locked in our operant conditioning chamber lest we break free and realize that there’s a way out of the box should we choose to cut loose. 

We are gamers.

We play our chosen MMOs and we kill virtual creatures repeatedly in the hopes we will be assigned shiny gear at random intervals.  Should we stop killing the virtual creatures in search of our loot, we won’t be able to compare to our peers.  We won’t be able to progress our characters.  In the shift to subscription gaming, developers must find a way to keep us playing and paying.

Read Killing Fun by the Numbers.


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