November 2011 Archives

I'm warning you, behind the cut is a bit of an epic post.  I've been playing a game called Glitch lately, and I'm really enjoying it ... despite the fact that so many of its core game mechanics felt invasive, insidious, and irritating when I played them in FarmVille and CityVille.  I was ready for Glitch to be terrible but with high production values.  I named my character after an Italian slang phrase for "that's disgusting/that sucks", gender-bent my character as far as I could, and waded in.  What I found was a fairly charming game that takes all the mechanics that Zynga uses to manipulate its players and their friends and turns the mechanics inward, back into the game rather than out into the real world, and in so doing redeems the mechanics themselves. In simpler terms, from a game designer's perspective, Glitch is doing the good (or even Good) version of the new mechanics that we learned from FarmVille.

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