by Mike Shea on 16 April 2012
Three weeks ago I began playing Draw Something. Two weeks ago I quit. I quit for two reasons:
First, I have enough inboxes. I don't need another app with a little red number in the corner demanding my attention.
Second, I realized that my desire to play came from the pressure I felt knowing that someone was waiting for me. That, in turn, meant my friends might feel the same pressure assuming I am waiting for them. We all have enough obligations in our lives without adding another in which only Zynga wins.
A lot of games; Farmville, World of Warcraft, maybe even my own beloved D&D; base their success on the obligations and pressures one player can place on another. We end up becoming walking unpaid marketeers for their product. The results are a twisted and destructive symbiotic relationship in which players no longer play because it's fun but because of the feelings of obligation created between them.
Next time you're playing a social game like Draw Something, ask yourself if you're doing it because you're having fun or because you feel obligated. If everyone's having fun (as I do playing D&D, and I believe my group feels the same), then everything is fine. If obligation begins to outweigh the fun of the game, your friends might feel the same way, and you're the cause. It's one thing to waste your own time but something else to pressure your friends to do the same. Stop the cycle and go have fun.