Mobile Games and Me – How Theme and Large Numbers Carry an Experience

It’s been some years since I first saw my brother first playing a little Star Wars related mobile game called Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. I peeked curiously every now and then as he dug out his phone to do his daily grind for a game in which you compose a team of either light or dark side (and in some cases a combination of both) to fight waves of enemies or other players. Sometimes I asked about the game, how it was balanced, how pay-to-win it was, how often do you actually get to play the game, etc. The fact that my brother would go on to explain things in detail, quite excitedly, helped further my interest in the game.

Man Sitting on the Sofa Holding a Mobile Phone

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

I had seen one of my friends play similar games (with more of a East Asian style to them, however), but I didn’t really want to get involved due to how pay-to-win these sorts of games tend to be. In addition to that, the fact that these games are designed to manipulate you into using the product daily, to make it part of your daily rhythm, is something I quite dislike, but this is how pretty much everything is designed these days: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. As much as I (and many others) dislike it, the conditioning works because that’s just how our brains work. As we say in Finnish: apinaa koijataan (or “monkey is being bamboozled”). Those who this doesn’t work on are quite lucky in my opinion – you’re the smarter primates. Whatever the case, I had been looking for something little to add to my daily routine, so why not an addictive Skinner box? 

Continue reading