[The following text is part of my upcoming master's thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. This is just a rough first draft, and I gladly welcome all critique and suggestions – be it on a content level or regarding my use of language. As part of my master's thesis I am analysing already existing games that are commonly known to be addictive. A lot of those games are Facebook games.]
Most Puzzle Bobble clones play quite similarly, with their graphics being their most distinguishing feature. The outliers are Bubble Island, which adds the element of time pressure into the mix, and Woobies, which comes from another era of online games, and lacks most of the additional game mechanics the Facebook games use. This core mechanic can be expanded upon, allowing the Facebook game studios to find ways to monetize the game. The game is easy to pick up and is equally well playable with any input device, be it a mouse or a track pad, making it an obvious candidate for a casual game. It is deceptively simple to play: aim, shoot, aim, shoot, with hardly anything that takes the player out of the flow.
... one day I have to start to count. Here comes another attempt to make something not so fun more interesting, faster, enjoyable. This time?
It's e-mail. Thank to Gmails rather open structure, other websites can plug into your inbox and therefore change the way you handle mail.
So as you go through your email, each function is given a points value. If you choose to skip a message, you’ll lose 25 points. Reply to something? You’ll gain 175 points. Of course, you can also choose to use Baydin’s other fantastic service called Boomerang to schedule the message to come back to you later when you’ll need it.
The only problem I see? Currently, the gameification is not so much a gameification of the world as rather a pointification1 of the world. I wonder if there are other game mechanic schemes are out there that could be exploited to the same effect.
That sounds somehow ... wrong. Rest assured that no pontifex has anything to do with that. ↩
Just a few games I stumbled over this morning.
Now, a new game called Journey is to be released. It features nothing more than one person and a huge desert one has to cross. And that is all. It has multiplayer capabilities through the fact that one other random player is added to the same game. The players cannot communicate with each other. But they may share the journey for a while.
Not only is this a combination of two of my own, as of yet unused ideas, it seems to have been beautifully and poetically executed as well.
This kind of reminds me that I should get some of those XBox Live Arcade / Playstation Store Points / Credits / Thingies so I get a chance to play Limbo and Flower, some of the other small but exceptional games that are simply a must-play.