Massively has an article about A Tale in the Desert, which I've popped in on a couple of times (well, I tried to get started with it twice but just wound up uninstalling). It's interesting to me how it has resolutely improved and refined what is, most people would say, a dubious game (crafting and cooperation in Ancient Egypt) requiring a lot of hours input. You'd think I would like it, what with my odd interest in Human-Age (which at the Middle Ages level is cooperation and crafting and markets), but no.
I need a different theory as my "evil game devs creating addictive games that waste countless human hours in order to garner millions of 25 cent pieces to the detriment of humanity" doesn't quite fit. H-A in particular isn't very addictive, and seems to have a customer base of grown-ups who are often in high-stress jobs (so they enjoy the light involvement as a getaway), or people using the game to learn a language - also not time wasted. I suppose some pastimes are just brain massage when people are mentally tired of dealing with modern life. Before I became ill I was so physical that I had to alternate painting with hard physical work or burst; I suppose there might be a similar effect going on here (a change is as good as a rest?). Although I always think of ATITD as anti-addictive, in fact repulsive, I may have the wrong idea - but, I am not tempted (much) to go back and see.
June 2004 : EEK
June 2006: Vast Improvement
Ideally I'd have 2008 and 2010 but I don't (I could go and see, though, I suppose). If you are interested in its changes have a look at Massively's article or have a look at their video embedded below.
posted by - 9:26 AM