feedback on my essay

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feedback on my essay

Postby Pizzanakin » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:08 pm

I have to write an essay for school about whether free-to-play games are a problem in the gaming industry. I was hoping that some of you could give feedback on my body of text :mrgreen:

I'm not 100% sure about the order of the paragraphs yet. I feel like the first two are the best to start with, but I also feel like the last two might not fit at the end, so yeah please give me your opinions on that.

I'd also like opinions on phrasing and how to improve it. Of course if you see any spelling mistakes, feel free to correct me on that! (I'm going for English spelling, not American, so if you see any typo's regarding that then I'd appreciate those mentions as well.

If you have any critical opinions about the stuff I wrote, then you can reply about that too. But please don't turn this thread into a discussion about the topic since I just want feedback :p

Anyways here's the text, since the order isn't final I put a * instead of an actual number in the footnotes (I have the paragraphs + footnotes ordered by color in word :p).
Spoiler:
Thesis statement:
Low effort games that are free to download but require micro-transactions to get the full experience should no longer be developed, because they are purely created for making profit.

Asking money for content that you have created is as normal as it can be and you will see it in almost every industry. Saying that developers who create games with a free-to-play model aren’t allowed to monetize on any aspect of their games is wrong. But in return for your payment, you would also expect to receive quality content. If you take a closer look at the consumers who play these low-effort games, you’ll notice that the majority of all players only play the game for a short amount of time before stopping. In a report made by the firm Swrve[*], they concluded that 19 percent of new players only opened the game once, and that 66 percent stopped playing after a day. With numbers like these, you can conclude that these games aren’t as fun as they are made to seem. The long term players are the ones who end up paying most in the game.

Of course you can argue that there’s only a small percentage of players who become the victim of spending too much in these games, and that it is not the developer’s fault that these people exist. Even though this valid reasoning, the issue is bigger than this. The developers are actually focussing on adding features that will “find and exploit the right people, and then suck everything they can out of them”[*]. They are completely aware of where their revenue comes from, and they are even actively trying to increase it. If developers are aware that their games have an addictive nature, they should do everything in their power to decrease this taking a toll on these easily influenced players.

But even game developers have to earn money some way, and if a system where the majority of consumers can play without having to pay at all, then there’s no reason to change it. This is partially true, however, there are still a lot of issues that are being overlooked by this statement. In low-effort MMOs where players play against each other, the gameplay is often very unbalanced with negative effects for the players who do not pay money to play the game[*]. This is very unappealing for players who do not plan to ever invest in a game. There are easy solutions to problems like this, for example splitting the player base in two groups, where a player only plays against opponents who pay money if they do so as well. Alternatively, the developers can choose to unlock the content for all players and get their revenue from another aspect. Advertisements or items that only have a visual change work really well for a lot of free-to-play games.

It is the choice of the player whether they want to spend money on a game or not. But in return, they will expect to receive a reward or a good feeling. This element is missing in many of these low-effort games. Instead, they create a negative connection between frustration and spending money[*]. If you can’t get past a level in a certain game, you just want to get it over with and decide to pay a small amount to get further. This is a slippery slope to spending more money when things become even tougher, and it removes any positive feelings after making a purchase. Developers are able to abuse this by making the players feel like they are making the choice to spend money themselves, but they are actually manipulated to do so.

[*] = http://www.recode.net/2014/4/9/11625416 ... -exclusive
[*] = http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1 ... php?page=3 (bottom of the page)
[*] = http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2 ... ge-problem
[*] = http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2 ... ge-problem
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Re: feedback on my essay

Postby thamanodb » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:44 pm

Im not a great essay writer, but after reading i thought your thoughts made sense at least , I dont feel qualified in judging anything else sorry.
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Re: feedback on my essay

Postby msbggem » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:12 pm

Everything below is simply my opinion and not to be taken as you should write it one way or another:

Try to limit the use of "you", "your", "they", etc. I find it's better to spell out who it is you're talking about. If in the previous sentence you specified "game producers", then it's not necessary to specify it again immediately after, but if we're in a new paragraph, it should be stated again. You should be able to hand each paragraph to a different person and have them understand what it is saying, without all the others. If you feel there is no way around using "you" or "your", instead use "we" and "our". This creates a team between you, the author, and me, the reader, and we are sharing the reading of this essay. Try this: pinch yourself on the arm everytime you feel personally addressed in the essay, and if your arm hurts after, there's too many "you"s. ;)

Another thing is the mixing of present and future tense. I would personally remove the future tense, and stick to present. Example: "Asking money for content that you have created is as normal as it can be and you will see it in almost every industry."

Your points seem well thought out, and I didn't follow the source links, but it's good that you have plenty there. I would also try to find a source for any direct opinion of yours that you included, a source that shows someone else with the same opinion.

I'm not much of speller, I rely too much on my red-squiggle lines, so I'll leave that up to someone else. If you're using a text editor like Word, you might be able to change the default language of the spell check dictionary to British English.
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Re: feedback on my essay

Postby Pizzanakin » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:05 pm

Thanks to both of you for replying :mrgreen:
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Re: feedback on my essay

Postby Pizzanakin » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:21 pm

Here's the updated essay taking most of the feedback into account. If you find that I missed anything, please comment :mrgreen:

Spoiler:
You are bored, and want to find something to spend some time with. You open the app store and look for a game that seems fun. After finding a game that appeals to you, you decide to download it. Only then you find out that most of the advertised features are only available after paying, and that the core gameplay is just another copy of the game you tried last week. Since you get bored, you decide to uninstall the app. But why does this keep happening? Why do low-effort games stand a chance against well-developed games that have much more interesting gameplay? You are manipulated in downloading the game, and then you find out the game doesn’t appeal to you at all. Does this happen to everyone, or do some players stick around and spend money? There is in fact something much darker going on. That’s why I’m convinced: Low effort games that are free to download but require micro-transactions to get the full experience should no longer be developed, because they are purely created for making profit.

Asking money for new content is as normal as it can be and you see it in almost every industry. Saying that developers who create games with a free-to-play model aren’t allowed to monetize on any aspect of their games is wrong. But in return for a payment, consumers also expect to receive quality content. If you take a closer look at the consumers who play these low-effort games, you’ll notice that most players only play the game for a short amount of time before stopping. In a report made by the firm Swrve, they concluded that 19 percent of new players only opened the game once, and that 66 percent stopped playing after a day. With numbers like these, one can conclude that these games aren’t as fun as the developers want you to think. The long-term players are the ones who end up paying most in the game.

Of course, critics can argue that there’s only a small percentage of players who become the victim of spending too much in these games, and that it is not the developer’s fault that these people exist. Even though this valid reasoning, the issue is bigger than this. The developers are actually focussing on adding features that will “find and exploit the right people, and then suck everything they can out of them". They are completely aware of where their revenue comes from, and they are even trying methods to get more out of these people. If developers are aware that their games have an addictive nature, they should do everything in their power to make sure this is not taking a toll on these easily influenced players.

But even game developers must earn money some way. If a system where most of the consumers can play without having to pay at all works, then there’s no reason to change it. This is partially true. However, there are still a lot of issues that are being overlooked by this statement. In low-effort MMOs where players play against each other, the gameplay is often very unbalanced with negative effects for the players who do not pay money to play the game. This is very unappealing for players who do not plan to ever invest in a game. There are easy solutions to problems like this, for example splitting the player base in two groups, where a player only plays against opponents who pay money if they do so as well. Alternatively, the developers can choose to unlock the content for all players and get their revenue from another aspect. Advertisements or items that only have a visual change work for a lot of other free-to-play games.

It is the choice of the player whether they want to spend money on a game or not. But in return, they expect to receive a reward or a good feeling. This element is missing in many of these low-effort games. Instead, they create a negative connection between frustration and spending money. If players can’t get past a level in a certain game, they just want to get it over with and decide to pay a small amount to continue. This is a slippery slope that leads to spending more money when things become even tougher, and it removes any positive feelings after making a purchase. Developers can abuse this by making the players feel like they are making the choice to spend money themselves, but they are in fact manipulated to do so.

To conclude, the developers of low-effort free-to-play games are purposely manipulating their players into spending large amounts of money on their games, while there is a wild variety of other options available. They are aware of what they are doing and have no intentions to stop, even though their work has the potential to ruin the lives of others. I feel that the community of gamers and game developers should try to put an end to this, so that we can be a community where everyone is actually happy. If we can’t change their minds by reasoning, perhaps we must do some manipulating ourselves to get the point across.


Foot notes are taken out because they are now officially formatted with word and that formatting doesn't work here on the forums. They didn't change in any way compared to the last version so if you're curious just look at that.

Edit: Added introduction and conclusion since I have written those too. They're completely new so it's open to all kinds of feedback.
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Re: feedback on my essay

Postby msbggem » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:39 pm

I like the conclusion, though "ruin the lives of others" might be a bit strong. My only additional suggestion would be to perhaps share your ideas and/or method for "putting an end to" it in an additional paragraph. In your conclusion you state that we should work together to stop developers of these games, but you never say what you think we should do. How do we stop them?

Looks good Pizza! :D
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Re: feedback on my essay

Postby Pizzanakin » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:45 pm

msbggem wrote:I like the conclusion, though "ruin the lives of others" might be a bit strong. My only additional suggestion would be to perhaps share your ideas and/or method for "putting an end to" it in an additional paragraph. In your conclusion you state that we should work together to stop developers of these games, but you never say what you think we should do. How do we stop them?

Looks good Pizza! :D

One of the articles I read gave an example of a woman who actually spent her whole day just playing a mobile game and her kid (I think he was like 16) had to restort to selling drugs to get money to buy food.. I'd call that ruining someone's life so I don't think it's too strong. Thanks for pointing it out but I'm choosing to leave it in because of that :p (unless my teacher also mentions that something else is better)

Sadly I can't really add anything else because I'm at the max amount of words already, so I can't really write suggestions on how to solve the problem without having to remove other content from the essay :/
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