I don’t need a 2nd job, or heroin August 2, 2010 cliffski There seems to have been a huge growth in two areas of game design in the last 5 years. 1) 2nd Job games. Most people call them ‘MMOs’ , but the basic gameplay seems to be this: You start out at the bottom. You go to someone who stands there all day doing nothing who tells you to go kill 5 spiders. When you do that, he gives you a miniscule promotion, and then tells you to kill 10 spiders. Repeat until dead. This sounds like some of the early office jobs I did, only rather than the spider-dude paying me at the end of each month, with an MMO, I pay for the priviledge of doing this job. No thanks. 2) Heroin I’m lucky. I don’t get really addicted to farmville games, or flash MMOs. I know people VERY addicted to world of Warcraft or EVE. People who run online games who I know have tales of people spending $300+ a month on in-game items. Why? Because they are addicted. Peoples’ brains are different. A BIG chunk of people have whatever neurotransmitter or collection of neurons it takes to get them totally hooked on games which keep you in a tight feedback/reward/effort loop, ad finitum. A lot of big companies are tuned into this and boy do they exploit it. Keep them playing…Keep them playing… Spread out the gameplay, because the players time is considered worthless to them. Quantity, not Quality… And we are only at the very early days of this. People have already shown adverts to people while they lie in MRI scanners to fine tune the ads to the way peoples emotions trigger. This will come for games, if it isn’t already being studied. Luckily, I seem to be immune to 2) and I already have a job, so 1) doesn’t appeal to me. There are still fun games out there that I enjoy, but they are becoming an endangered species. Company of Heroes is now Company of Heroes online, because they want micro-transactions and the addictive push-button-get-banana gameplay that earns zynga so much money… I see *why* gaming is going this way, I just feel left out and a bit saddened by it.