Feb 1, 2012

A Short Piece On Social Games From The Atlantic

Benjamin Jackson wrote a short piece for The Atlantic called The Synga Abyss. I really wish he had called it "The Social Games Abyss" rather than, seemingly, shitting exclusively on Zinga because it isn't really highlighting a problem with Zynga's games but rather a problem with most free-to-play "social" style games (yes, including the recently mentioned Tiny Tower). That problem, and my personal beef with them? Their number one design goal is to make money, not create fun. Now, you might say, "What are you a dirty Commie who hates money!?" and the answer is: "Of course not, dumbass." Then you might say, "Isn't that the goal of any commercial game, really, to make money?" and to that I would answer: "Of course, dumbass." The difference is that the traditional way of making money from your game is to make a good, fun game which makes people want to buy your game because of all the fun it provides. These social games aren't trying to be good, fun games, they are trying to bamboozle you with lights and glitter to seem fun while really hiding all sorts of methods to make you part with your money, like a slot machine. I wish nothing more that for us to be at the crest of the social games bubble so it can go ahead and pop already.

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