This phenomenon is a bit harder to describe so much that I had to invent my own word for it and it is about the intentional retardation of video game visuals to make them more cartoonish or children friendly. There are many potential reasons which can make this a bad design choice, so lets get into it.
This phenomenon has baffled me for quite a while now and it is that it seems to me that nowadays most people seem to prefer to play games that are of inferior quality, which seems very illogical to me.
I was not sure, if I should write an article about this one, since I already covered it partly in my previous blog post "The dumbing down of games", but I think for completeness sake I will write a more detailed article about why matchmaking is a bad game design choice.
Let's get back to bad game design choices to finish off the list I made in my notebook, the next one is DLCs.
What are DLCs? DLC stands for DownLoadableContent and such downloadable content are in general add-ons to the original games that can be downloaded and in most cases those cost additional money. DLC are more of a recent invention with the upcoming of digital distribution platforms.
My last blog post reminded me of my childhood and probably the main reason why I was so fascinated by video games and this was that in video games you could do anything you want, full freedom of choice. Well in reality you probably have more freedom of choice then you can ever have in a video game, but that is because of technical limitations, the real problem with reality however is, that reality has harsh consequences, that you might not want to deal with. So the reason why video games were so cool was, that you had freedom of choice to do the things you could not do in real life.
There has been a trend over the time that degrades role playing games into what I call pseudo role playing games. Additionally there are games coming out made to look like role playing games, but not actually being role playing games, intentionally or unintentionally.
I don't really know where this trend started, but the first times I really noticed it was on console games. I never had a modern game console, since I think they are pointless, but I noticed it when watching others play games on console, lots of those games are build around some kind of unlocking system.
A large portion of gamers probably encountered the following scenario, they kept grinding a game just to unlock an achievement, even though they were already fed up with the game. That is exactly what achievements are designed for, to motivate you playing in a scenario where you would normally stop, because it became to boring.
Let's get to the now probably more widely known loot box problem. I decided to combine loot boxes and gambling since they go together in most, if not all games.
What are loot boxes?
In games that have pay to win and/or cosmetic items, you will often also find loot boxes, that have those items in them, but you don't know what is inside yet.
This another of those little design elements in a game that has the potential to ruin the whole game experience, it is very similar to the minimap and often is combined with the minimap and I call it quest markers. What I mean with quest markers? Well first the thing that is obviously meant with quest markers, meaning graphical elements in the game that show you where you have to go to fulfill your current quest. Those often are placed into the HUD and the map or minimap.