Computer games — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Sat, Jan 28, 2023

Table of Contents

Computer games

Addictive by design

Game developers try to make games addictive. Games often have addictive elements by design. Small elements like rewarding sound effects and daily rewards can make games very addicting. Certain elements try to rely on the fear of missing out.

Some games try to make it harder to get your dose of dopamine, but most games are filled with things which try to reward you quickly. That makes them incredibly addictive. It is a way to get money out of people.

A screenshot of the daily login rewards of the game Fortnite.

Figure 1: A screenshot of the daily login rewards of the game Fortnite.

Different kinds

Games are an artform. Not all games have the main goal of being addictive.

Competitive games often have toxic players. People strive for a goal, often against each-other. Playing with friends can keep it fun. Only a minority can make a career out of competitive gaming. Most people shouldn’t aim to become the best. Rules of many games change constantly. Competitive games likely are less toxic if people are not playing against other players.

Selecting games

Selecting games based on the ideas you like is the way to go in my opinion. Art can teach you things. It isn’t always purely escapism. I prefer games in which Ι can see that it was made with passion. Games don’t always assume that the player is dumb. Certain games can offer you an interesting experience. Similar to movies.

The large majority of games don’t have much to offer to me. Many games are clones of other games, and do not add much new things to the table. Unique games are often a big risk to develop, but the same goes for other forms of art. I do not like games which I consider forgettable. Unless the art is good enough to make up for that.

Personal favorites

Odd games

I like games which provide a unique experience, like a movie would. “Deadly Premonition” and “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” are some of the most unique games I have played. I enjoy those a lot. Ι could add “Yakuza 0” to that list. It is good, but after playing it once you have seen it.

Aside from being funny, “Deadly Premonition” has a fantastic story. It takes a while before they start though. The concept of “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” is fantastic. Especially for a kinect game. Sadly, the game has been discontinued. It was never completed. I still found the game worth buying.

A screenshot of a perfect stunt in the game 'D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die'.

Figure 2: A screenshot of a perfect stunt in the game ‘D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die’.

Horror games

“Pathologic 2” is very unique. I dislike many horror games. They just do not scare me or provide me with interesting ideas. They are unique and often well-made technically, but they are hard to get right. I find that “Pathologic 2” is one of the rare games which succeeds in creating a great atmosphere. I do like Pathologic HD too, but the mechanics, and the translation isn’t as good. The music on the other hand I liked more.

A screenshot of the game 'Pathologic 2'.

Figure 3: A screenshot of the game ‘Pathologic 2’.

I dislike the Outlast games because the sound effects often include drums when something chases you, which makes it predictable. That ruins the scare factor for me. They don’t use “fear of the unknown” that much, since you meet the monsters pretty soon. Amnesia is much better in my opinion. SOMA is interesting, but the concept isn’t that deep to me. I would recommend SOMA and “Pathologic 2”.

Most games try to make you feel special and important like the hero. This is unrealistic. Heroism is so common that it can become boring. It should take more effort to accomplish things, more risk. Life requires suffering. In Pathologic things don’t go your way. It is more human, and makes you think.