Do you ever play games on your mobile phone?
I bet you do. Just admit it. Everybody has a secret Candy Crush addiction, these days. Ain’t no hiding it.
But – regardless of whether you do or not – you’ve probably seen them: ads for games IN games. Win a level, move on to the next one and then BOOMMM, you get hit with an ad for pretty much the exact same game you’re already playing. Which already sucks. But then. THEN. THEN to TOP IT ALL OFF:
All of the ads for these games have one game in common:
Maybe you’ve never noticed – and maybe you have, but most of these ads play into one huge human flaw: the need to be better than anything or anyone else. These ads don’t show off pretty graphics. They don’t resemble the actual gameplay. They don’t tell you how the game works or why it’s awesome. Nope. What they DO do – is show a clip of an invisible person playing the game. BADLY.
Each and every time you sit there watching while someone misses the FUCKING OBVIOUS correct answer. Or messes up the sequence. You see them kill the poor little fishy in a tube with muddy water, while the fresh water is just one click away. Or see them pit a level 2 soldier thingy against a lvl 12 monster and get wiped. And while at first my frustration levels rose every time this person fudged up even the simplest tasks and questions – I very quickly switched to outrage.
Because it took me probably a bit too long to realize that that’s exactly what they’re going for. Inspiring you to feel like ‘I can TOTALLY do that BETTER’ is precisely what they’re hoping to achieve.
You see, we humans tend to be very driven to show the rest of the world how awesome we are. Always craving to be succesful. To be the best. To win. So when these ads show us that we are deeeefinitely going to be better than the poor ‘soul’ playing the demo – it brainwashes us to actually want to. And SHABLAM – you suddenly find yourself installing the 50th game on your phone that’s pretty much the damn same as the previous 49. They win.
It’s pretty much the same concept as negging, one of the fuckboi dating hypes. Insult the person you’re talking to (only slightly) so they feel the need to defend themselves and suddenly want to work to gain your approval. No longer working on their own checklist – but making sure they tick all the boxes on yours because they WANT to feel wanted. It’s flippin’ mindgames.
Mindgames that I hate, because I’m way too damn susceptible to them.
Which is why they work. And why gamecompanies keep using them. And why Tinderfuckbois are so succesful. And why the world keeps turning.
BUT I’M ONTO YOU – EVIL MASTERMINDS.
I’m not saying this knowledge will change anything in my life. But yaknow. ‘Een gewaarschuwd man telt voor twee’. I hope.