1. Quick Rewards

      written by Ray Benefield
      NOW let's talk about reward systems as I promised I would yesterday. Yesterday we covered instant gratification as something that stems from natural impatience. We covered specific examples of times when a person would choose to do something that was less rewarding over having to wait for a given amount of time. We also discussed how powerful instant gratification was. One of the sites frequent visitors, Prod, has come up with multiple situations around the internet where sites use human impatience to their advantages. A special thanks to Prod for being such an active reader.

      Here you go

      So let's talk about some of the reward systems out there that take advantage of human impatience. Let's start with Farmville, Cafe World, Restaurant City, etc, since all of these happen to be played most by the general public. Remember when you first started playing the game? You made a couple of dishes, grew a couple of plants, maybe dug up some treasure and you were rewarded almost immediately with a level up. It took you little effort to gain that one level. And once you heard that special ding, or that message box popped up with a big "Congratulations" you were slightly lit up inside with joy. NO TIME AT ALL! So what did you do? You continued on, doing all the same things again. Took a little longer this time, but in no time: DING! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

      And that's how it all begins. Quick and with no effort on your part. It was a little nudge in the direction of "Hey! If you keep playing, we will keep making you happy just like this!". And admit it, it felt good my friends. Oh but it's not just in social games on Facebook. How 'bout you more hardcore gamers that play World of Warcraft? I remember when I first tried the game ages ago. It takes no time at all to get to level 1. Then level 2. Then level 3. And before you know it you are investing 4 hours per level. Then a whole weekend per level. But it all started with that quick 10 mins of trying the game that resulted in the "YOU HAVE LEVELED UP!" ding.

      They are Aware

      The big companies are starting to learn this now. It is becoming a simple way to get people to start playing and continue for atleast a few days. That gives them enough time to get you truly addicted. Admit it... it would be harder for you to continue to play a game if it took you a full 8 hour day just to get to level 1. The big guys know this people. Since the time I tried out WoW it has become LOADS easier to level up. They have changed the leveling curve so people get rewarded more often. Why? Because of the talk that WoW is addicting and is starting to come with some negative impressions if you play. So what does Blizzard do? Reward you faster than before so that negative appearance that comes along with it isn't so bad. Not only is leveling easier, but instead of getting a mount at 40, you get it at 20 now. Instant gratification at it's best my friends...

      Judging Game Providers

      So everyone is using tactics like this to get you addicted and get you to shell out your money. This is just one needle in a full box of needles peepz. They all want your money. So should you stop playing games because of it? NO, because games are a great stress relief. Not only that, but there are game companies that do care about their consumers having fun. How do you know that a company isn't just in it for the money? You will know. Trust me. You can feel the difference between Activision and Bungie. Hopefully for gamers reading my blog, it will help you judge which companies to support. And for those who are building games for people, remember that your customers matter. A lot know when they are being jipped. And if you don't take care of your customer... they won't take care of you.

      Personal Life

      Sadly my Xbox red ringed last Sunday. We have a backup old style one (no HDMI hookup) where the drive doesn't read disks, so I could still continue developing with XNA. However, this morning my laptop copped out. So if I don't end up posting as much, that is why. Luckily we have a service plan for the laptop. I should be able to use my wife's laptop when I need it, but not as much as I would like. Damn... that's too major devices in one week. On a good note, my wife and I got our wedding rings this weekend. Atleast that went right. Anyways, I'm out for now everyone. Talk to yall tomorrow.


      Prod said...

      That little part about WOW turning down the addictivity is interesting. Also, yay i'm in the post.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Turning down? Not so much... they lessened the leveling curve, making it easier to level hence making it a lot more gratifying more often since it is easier to level.

      Letol said...

      So, you're sending in the 360 you normally use to get fixed and you're only using your back-up 360 until your typical one is back, right?

      If you don't mind opening up your back-up 360 and working with it a little bit once you get your normal 360 back, I've got an easy fix for your DVD drive problem. Of course, you'd have to put down a little money for a new DVD drive ($30), but I think that it's better than the other two options you've got. Let me know if you want to know more, trust me, the most difficult part of the whole thing is actually opening up the 360 itself, lol.

      Cerberus Beast said...

      Great article. I just fell back into the trap and leveled my Death Knight to 73 O.o

      Anyway, Ray, I'll have the first part of my series to you by this Friday. I'm debating taking some gameplay footage to try to rationalize certain parts. I'll be starting from a pretty distant perspective, but some of those distant concepts can still be represented with legit footage. Let me know what you think.


      jewly said...

      wow lol i'm impressed by your writing skills most blogs can't hold my attention for long but I just read this entire post ha ha.

      GodlyPerfection said...


      Thanks for the advice. What do I need to do to fix my DVD drive problem? The other xbox I'm not so worried about. As long as I can hold up on these xboxes with simple fixes til the Halo: Reach special edition xbox comes out then I should be good. Wouldn't mind having one of those.


      Enjoy your WoW death trap. lol... but yeah, send me a friend request on facebook or PM the article and stuff to me on XForgery. I'm thinking about doing reader posts anyways, where I post an article by the reader rather than myself. My only requirement is that it is as short as the posts that I have and is split into sections like mine. I have my reasons, we can discuss it in PM on XF or Facebook if you would like.

      And Jewly:

      Glad you took the time to read this and that it was able to keep your attention. That is a good sign since it is meant for all gamers, non-gamers, and casual gamers. Thanks for the input girl.

      Letol said...

      Got caught up in a bunch of stuff tonight, should be able to give you all of the info you'll need tomorrow, though.

      Oh, and I don't think I've given you my compliments on your blog yet. I've read each entry through, and some I even read twice. Very interesting, attention-catching, and to the point. Keep up the great work!

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Take your time letol, I appreciate you doing this.

      As for the compliments... thank you very much. They make me happy face. And like I tell everyone who comments, encourages me to keep going. Those are good words to hear.

      Letol said...

      I went ahead and sent you what I've got in a PM at XForgery. It was easier for me to organize and see everything on there, so I hope you don't mind. If you do end up trying out the fix though, good luck!

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Thank you sir Letol... that should be very helpful to me :)...