How is Destiny like Candy Crush?

Destiny Candy CrushDestiny has been the topic of a fair amount of criticism, both on my blog and YouTube channel, as well as other game review outlets. I have tried to be fair and measured as I’ve called for more content and a better focused identity, and recently said the House of Wolves trailer was exciting but also sad because it proves Bungie has the ability to tell a much better story. Recently I read an article at GamesRadar that walks through why the average playtime of Destiny players is 77 hours. Bungie’s John Hopson explained the research Bungie gathered in testing pre-launch and what went into changing and modifying the game to ensure player behavior that kept coming back for more. Hopson is certainly qualified to talk about player behavior with a Ph.D in behavioral and brain sciences, but does a person’s willingness to play repetitious content for long hours equate lasting enjoyment of a game? Continue reading

Inside Video Games: Where did the fun go?

Candy Crush Call of Duty gunsSince their inception, video games have been about fun. Whether you’ve spent late nights battling someone at Pong or spent countless quarters trying to beat a high score in Pac-Man or couldn’t wait for the weekend to take another crack at Super Mario, you probably started playing and continued to play video games because they were fun. There is a rising trend, however, that has minimized the focus on fun with an increased focus on addictive behavior that ensures continued engagement and micro-transactions. There has also been a rise in multiplayer games that have fractured their communities by focusing on the individual experience rather than the communal. Let’s look at a two very different but very well-known titles as examples of what I mean. The reason I have chosen these two games is because they are highly influential and replicated within both of their realms and platforms, so they are representative of the growing trends and problems in the gaming industry. Continue reading