Thursday, November 14, 2013

Free-to-Play Gamers are Tired of Skinner Boxes, and That's a Good Thing

Speak to free-to-play detractors, and many will argue that the model reduces games to mere Skinner Boxes, with titles designed to trick players into parting with their cash after being treated to enticing rewards. For those unfamiliar with Skinner Boxes, they work by rewarding subjects (in B.F. Skinner's time, lab rats) with food for pressing the correct lever when stimulated by a bright light or loud noise. Replace 'food' with 'gems', and 'lever' with 'touchscreen' and it's easy to see why the model can be applied to many high profile free-to-play games. However, just because the model fits - and, for a time at least, offers success - doesn't mean it's the only option. more

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