Video Game

Video Games and the Dopamine-driven Reward System

I’m reading a book right now titled “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” by Jane McGonigal. I’m not too far into it, but I’m already learning so much about the intensive psychological research surrounding games.

One of the most important elements of a great video game is a great reward system. If our busywork is shrouded with rewards whether that be cosmetics, player capabilities, or the next chapter to the story.

It’s fascinating.

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Halo – or Microsoft Studios’ most profitable franchise

“Halo 5” is currently the 2nd most profitable game on the Xbox One and the most profitable exclusive for the console.

“Halo 5” grossed $400 million in its first 24 hours and $500 million in its first week.

Some claim the rise to that lucrative second place ranking is due to the addition of loot boxes and microtransactions, which I’m absolutely sure helped, but I’m not about to go on another rant about this uninviting addition to infrastructure in the business of video games.

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The e3 Tradition

With e3 right around the corner myself, and several other avid and casual gamers pretty much have their pitchforks ready.

We live in an age, particularly with movies and video games where fan criticism (whether it’s on social media or direct messages to the development team) pale in comparison to financial gain.

What I mean is, the input is considered, but the profit number is considered much more substantially. This is just good business in industries bordering monopoly. There’s no competition to force EA Games, for instance, to recall their over-reaching micro-transactions. Plus the micro-transactions themselves assure profit.

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The Despicables – Sitcoms about horrible human beings

It’s fascinating to me how writers can make this work and the philosophy of comedy that petains to it.

In dramas we have anti-heroes: Our Walter Whites, Tony Sopranos etc.

What makes us love these shows? What makes us want to watch these despicable characters go through trials and tribulations? And when they succeed, what makes us happy for them?

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Rockstar and the value of a $60 game

Gamers hate DLC, plain and simple. At least that use to be the consensus. We alreadypaid $60; we deserve our game.

Over time arguments were made and having a system that adds content for the gamer and increases revenue for the developer could be a win-win situation.

You pay $60 for an amount of content worth $60, then it’s not that big of deal to drop more money once more content becomes available.

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Sea of Thieves: Style that severely lacks substance

It should be common knowledge for any aspiring game developers that an audience’s investment in your game is driven by a “reward system.”

Unfortunately the rallied developers at Rare (which has been resurrected as an empty shell of its former self) were more focused on spectacle than good game design.

Companies like EA Games and Ubisoft sabotage their own good games with imbalanced micro-transactions that are “pay-to-win.” Rare didn’t commit this cardinal sin. They did, however, commit the same sin as “No Man’s Sky.”

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The worthlessness of Top 10 lists

The Media 10 name originated from me wanting to create a website of Top 10s.

It was early on in the decade just before Buzzfeed hammered “list” articles into the ground which subsequently perpetuated clickbait content across the web.

More clicks, more ad revenue. This isn’t rocket science. It’s also a plague transmitted by the consolidation of corporate media.

Anyway, I’ll lower my pitchfork and step down from my soapbox… for now.

So yeah, lists were everywhere. Not only were they a mine for ad revenue, but they were easy to write and easily digestible for the reader.

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