Thread: Overwatch
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:26 PM
SenorBeef is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jragon View Post
This isn't what a skinner box is. A skinner box is, by definition, random. A progression system isn't a skinner box because you know exactly how long until you can get what you want. TF2's hats and Dota 2's cosmetic items are skinner boxes. So is Overwatch's loot crate system (though I don't think those give repeats so it's alleviated somewhat).

Maybe there's some technical misunderstanding that I have, but my layman's understanding, but from wikipedia

Quote:
[URL="An operant conditioning chamber permits experimenters to study behavior conditioning (training) by teaching a subject animal to perform certain actions (like pressing a lever) in response to specific stimuli, such as a light or sound signal. When the subject correctly performs the behavior, the chamber mechanism delivers food or another reward. In some cases, the mechanism delivers a punishment for incorrect or missing responses."]An operant conditioning chamber permits experimenters to study behavior conditioning (training) by teaching a subject animal to perform certain actions (like pressing a lever) in response to specific stimuli, such as a light or sound signal. When the subject correctly performs the behavior, the chamber mechanism delivers food or another reward. In some cases, the mechanism delivers a punishment for incorrect or missing responses.
It doesn't say anything about randomness on the page, and in fact, suggests the opposite - that consistency leads to conditioning. Do an actual, get a reward.

My point is - games used to be designed based on the engagement of their gameplay. Primary concerns were providing a fun experience. But the trend in gaming is to get people hooked directly via little dopamine release conditioning the same way people often react to drugs or gambling. The sensation of progressive, of getting some reward, of constantly seeing your level go higher or getting some sort of minor unlock like a new sight for your gun or a new cosmetic trumps the actual quality of gameplay for a lot of people.

So you have a lot of games designed now where activating this little dopamine conditioned response is the primary goal, and creating an interesting game through the merits of gameplay is no longer the primary goal. This is most obvious in mobile gaming, which is a wasteland of F2P conditioning nonsense, but the trend has been making its way around the gaming world.

Yes, it works, it works in the same way that slot machines work, even though slot machines are the dumbest fucking thing you could possibly do with your time. You don't go to slot machines for compelling gaming experiences, you do it because you get sucked into a conditioned cycle of little dopamine releases. That doesn't mean that it's a good thing.

It trades good gameplay for little addiction boxes, so those of us who don't get some sort of life validation from seeing our XP go up and some new teal skin for my third holo sight get the shaft, since the cost of shifting game design in that direction is worse gameplay.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 05-09-2016 at 07:27 PM.