Meta Gaming Lol: Which Champions Are Currently Top Tier

For over a decade, League of Legends has been a genre-defining and market-dominating Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). Bringing what was traditionally a hardcore and difficult to penetrate genre to the masses seemed like an impossible task, with many standalone games rising and falling over the years.

 

The Ruling Game

League of Legends, however, managed to simplify the ideas found in the venerable DotA just enough to make the game relatively easy to pick up and learn the basics while still retaining an incredible amount of depth which has spurred on the worlds largest esports scene and has been credited with taking esports from a niche activity partaken only by the most hardcore of fighting game fans and turning it into a global phenomenon which has led many other games to try and follow suit in becoming a widely streamed sport and even taking a step in normalizing the idea of videogames as serious sports in the public eye. This incredible amount of competition has been bringing tens of thousands of new players into Riot Games’ ever-deepening game each month, and it’s easy to see why. From the accessible but enthralling mechanics to the huge roster of playable champions, to the charming art style which extends into each character’s unique taunts and even voice lines, giving us some fabulous jhin quotes that will never leave my mind. But even in such a deep and ever-changing game, there are always characters who are a cut above the rest, and today I will discuss a few of the champions who are currently considered top-tier.

 

Singed

Some of the older characters from League’s early days are still to this day incredibly powerful and versatile. Singed was amongst the first characters to ever be introduced to the game, and his unique kit and extreme survivability have kept him in the top ranks of the roster for almost the entire life of the game, and he has one of the highest win rates of all top lane focused characters. He is primarily played as a top-lane champion, where he gets the opportunity to disrupt the enemy’s brawler and quickly help out with other lanes. He has incredibly high innate defensive stats which allows him to hang around the opponent for extended periods of time, especially when you take high health regeneration items such as the Warmog’s Armor. This combined with his speed and regeneration boosting ultimate and the constant miasmic cloud of poison he farts out behind him while his Q ability is active makes him incredibly annoying to deal with, but puts up more than enough of a fight to tempt the enemy to try and get him out of the way early.

 

Annie

Another legacy character, Annie is an insanely powerful burst champion who is known for her flashy instant team wipes and consistent crowd control which can efficiently disrupt the opponent when played carefully. In the early game, her primary Q ability restores MP when it kills minions, allowing her to farm up a lot more reliably than many early game AP champions, making it extremely easy and fast to pick up a few early items. This is all a means to an end though, as her most dangerous gimmick is her passive ability, which allows her to stun enemies with every 4th ability cast. This can activate upon using any of her abilities but is best used with her cone-shaped W or her wide area-of-effect ultimate, that stuns every champion hit by the ability, and the latter even summons a handy furry friend to aid you in battle!

Her patented stun-burst combo combined with carefully chosen items can melt entire teams down to nothing in a split second as long as she gets the drop on them, making a careful and forward-thinking Annie player incredibly difficult to deal with and will often force enemy teams to change to safer tactics which slow their progress to your nexus.

 

These are both very easy to pick up champions with enough nuance involved to keep them interesting to play all the way to mastery, so they are perhaps the best choice for any new or returning player who wants an easy way into the meta and is rightly considered as god-tier choices for the modern meta.

The Greatest Sports Games Being Released In 2021

The biggest advantage of our modern technology is the ability to create very realistic and advanced simulations. And nowhere is this ability put to greater use than the world of video gaming.

We can create living beings and put them into a home, watching as their life unfolds before us. We can create complex puzzles and watch as an AI tries to solve them. But one of the best simulations, in my opinion, is Sports simulations. Or simply Sports Video games.

Sports have been an integral part of our species since the earliest records. But there has always been an issue of accessibility. Video games have managed to lessen that gap by allowing anyone who owns a console or a PC to step into the shoes of a world-class athlete and take to the pitch of their favorite sport.

Sports Games are a staple of any serious gamers library. They are also considered some of the besten sport geschenke für jungs and girls. So, in light of that, we are going to look at the greatest sports games being released in 2021. So you can be in the know and prepared for more exciting matches!

 

Skate 4

One of the most anticipated games. Period. The original Skate games were a resounding success in the gaming community. People who would normally turn their nose up at sports games found themselves falling in love with this series. So it is no surprise that when Skate 4 was announced, millions of gamers flocked to the internet to land a pre-order and express their joy.

The Skate series has always featured some of the most popular skaters from around the world as playable characters. And Skate 4 isn’t breaking the trend either. So if you are an avid Skating fan, this is definitely the title for you.

 

Football Manager 2021

Football Manager has been a staple of the sports gaming genre ever since its first iteration. Sports fans love being able to play football from the comfort of their couch. But what they seem to love even more is managing their own team. Football manager gives every football fan the chance to take their favorite team and bring them to ultimate victory.

In recent years, the football manager games have gotten far more advance, going so far as to include the ability to play out the matches as if it was Fifa. This is what makes Football Manager 2021 one of the most anticipated sports games.

 

Riders Republic

People love extreme sports. But they don’t want all the risk that comes with it. That is why video games are so fantastic. You can experience the thrill and danger of extreme situations without the risk of seriously hurting yourself.

Riders Republic takes all the most popular extreme sports that require riding something and let you go wild. Dirt Biking. Snowboarding. Wingsuits. Hang gliders. You have the freedom to do what you want and how you want. And knowing Ubisoft, the company developing it, there will be a lot of content crammed in the game. While this is a new title, gamers everywhere are more than exciting to get their hands on it.

 

Blood Bowl 3

Blood Bowl is not your traditional sports game. Yet it is also one of the most intense and brilliant sports games available. Based on the popular tabletop game, published by Games Workshop, it is set in a fantasy world filled with brutal orcs, mystical elves, and little halflings. And what do all these fantasy races want to do? Play American football of course!

But in the world of Blood Bowl, the game is a little more lethal than normal American Football. With the ability for your players to die in combat or seriously injure themselves, you will find yourself biting your nails as you make the risky plays. If you are a sports fan who wants to try something new, Blood Bowl is the perfect combination of fantasy and sports that is sure to captivate you.

 

If we were to list every sports game coming out in 2021 this list would never end. But the ones we have listed are, in my opinion, the strongest releases scheduled for 2021.

The 5 Best Multiplayer Games of 2020

With 2020 being the year of lockdowns multiplayer games are more popular than ever. A good way to keep in touch with friends you can no longer see or add some fun to boring lockdown routines in your home. Considering there are so many multiplayer games to choose from you don’t want to play any that aren’t worth your time, we’ve played loads of games, good and bad, so you don’t have to. We have found the 5 best multiplayer games for you to suggest to your friends or family for your next gaming night.

 

Rogue Company

Rogue Company is a new third-person shooter game, there are loads of third-person shooter games to choose from but this was the one to make our list. This game is free to play, which is always a great feature. It can be played on any console and it has a cross-platform multiplayer feature. You have a Switch and your friend has an Xbox? Thanks to this feature this is the perfect game for you. It is also 60 frames per second on every console which means it runs smoothly whilst you play.

 

Among Us

Among us are a really popular game available on PC, IOS and Android. It is an exciting murder mystery game. You and your team are crewmates, but there is an imposter among you. As a crewmate, it is your job to figure out who the imposter is, as the imposter it is your job to kill the rest of the crew. This game has become extremely popular with popular YouTubers. If you also want to grow your YouTube channel playing this game could be a good way to bring in more subscribers, or if you don’t want to do that real YouTube subscribers can also be bought.

 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the newest Mario Kart game available to play on the Nintendo Switch. If the title doesn’t give it away Mario Kart is a multiplayer racing game, it is super competitive as it gives you the opportunity to sabotage your friends whilst you race. It comes with 48 different maps to choose from, including the infamous Rainbow Road, 5 extra battle modes to challenge your friends on, and all the most iconic Mario characters to play as. As an added bonus for any Animal Crossing fans the game also includes an exciting Animal Crossing Four Seasons track with 4 variations, 1 for each season.

 

Fortnite

Fortnite is a popular survival and third-person shooter game that’s available to play on all consoles. It is a 100-player game where you and all the other players are dropped into a map, you have to gather weapons to kill your opponents and gather resources for your survival. The game ends when only one player or team is left alive. The game also has a multiplayer story mode where you and your team have to survive waves of zombie attacks. This game is appealing as it has a simple control scheme making it easy for new players to pick up.

 

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the fifth installment in the Smash Bros game series and is available to play on the Nintendo Switch. It is a multiplayer fighting game, the aim being to knock your opponents out of the arena. It has over 60 arenas to choose from keeping the game interesting long term. It also features all your favorite Mario characters as well as characters from other franchises including Sonic, Kirby, and Link. Up to 8 players can link their switch consoles and compete making it a suitable game for bigger groups.

The 5 Best Mobile Games To Download In 2021

Among Us

Among Us is a video game that has become available on a mobile platform very recently, the aim of the game is to find out which members of your group are imposters before they have had a chance to covertly kill you and the rest of your innocent crewmates. With customizable rules for every game room, your group will be told which members are imposters and which are imposters, it is the crewmate’s task to work out who is the killer based upon who is acting suspiciously or who was close to any murders that have occurred. The crew must also complete tasks to win the game whilst avoiding being killed by the imposter, after a body is discovered you must discuss your suspicions with the group and accuse the killer so that they are ejected from the ship.

 

Rise of Kingdoms

Rise of Kingdoms is a surprisingly immersive medieval-inspired game where players are tasked with discovering temples, ruins, and palaces to uncover new treasures. This game is a pretty new addition to the mobile gaming world yet I’m sure the thousands of rise of kingdoms players all over the world would agree the game is worth a download. The premise of the game is very simple, your kingdom is in need of development, and the only way to afford this is to generate troops and set out on missions to find treasure and currency to make the necessary upgrades. As your kingdom and troops are upgraded you should see an increase in the rewards that are found on your quests, as the game develops your kingdom will grow to become an unstoppable force against other players. This game is a great time killer and if you were to give it a try you will find yourself immersed in this medieval world.

 

Mario Kart

There had been rumors about this classic Nintendo racing game becoming available on mobile devices for quite some time, now that Mario Kart has come out it is obvious why so many people were excited for this game to be free to play on a mobile platform. With easy to use controls and the implementation of local multiplayer you can now play classic Mario kart with your friends wherever you go. As you gain points you can unlock new karts, players, and parachutes to create a customized setup and race around the wide selection of courses that Mario Kart has to offer.

 

Words With Friends

Words with Friends has become a huge hit in recent years, combining learning with fun is always a great way to promote productivity and this game is no exception. You are given a number of tiles with letters on them and the aim of the game is to create words with the highest point value whilst ensuring it fits on the board.

The game can be resumed at any time making it an excellent time killer and game for on the go. Simply challenge your friends to a match and the game will continue until one player has gotten the most points and has run out of tiles.

 

Crazy Taxi

The final game to make it onto this list is a great example of a game that is made to help the time pass and allow the player to get some enjoyment out of those times in life that can be relatively dull. Crazy taxi allows the player to play as a taxi driver working the streets to make the most money in the time frame chosen. Once you spawn into the city you will have to take customers from the street to their desired location as quickly as possible, race against the clock to take home the biggest wage.

The Top 3 Most Comfortable Gaming Chairs

Gaming Technology has improved so incredibly fast in the last few years. We are now on the verge of fully immersive VR technology. But until then we are still stuck with the traditional desk set-up. And any serious gamer knows they need a comfortable Gaming Chair to ensure they can game long into the night.  But the market is now saturated with gaming chairs, with each company claiming their chair is the most comfortable. And the importance of a quality chair can’t be understated. We all know that gaming chairs are proven to help your back, so it is worth investing in the best.

 

Kirogi Ergonomic Gaming Chair

The Kirogi Ergonomic Chair is a great unit for anyone who is especially concerned about their back health. The chair comes equipped with full lumbar support, and it is sturdy at that. This means it will reduce your chance of back strain from long gaming sessions. The material is comfortable, yet firm to avoid ripping or cracking. The wheels are smooth, so no unruly rattling sound as it moves about. And all for a more than reasonable price tag too. This unit is definitely one of my personal favorites.

 

ATOM GT Series

Sleek, comfortable, and professional, the ATOM GT series is an absolutely fantastic unit.  Made with a fully ergonomic design, this chair offers unparalleled comfort. It also comes with a full high-back recliner as well, letting you lounge about while you game. The material of the chair is sturdy enough to withstand a bit of wear and tear while still holding strong.

This unit also comes in three different colors: White, Black, and Gray. So you can customize to your preference. All of this sits neatly at around $200 which is a great price for what you get.

 

Secretlab OMEGA 220

Taking a much more sturdy design philosophy, Secretlab has spared no expense to make sure the OMEGA 220 is firm, yet comfortable. It provides great back support while still feeling soft. It uses premium luxury leather as well on the arms and section of the back, meaning it won’t crack or tear easily. The fabric is one complete piece and is strong at that. You could run scissors over it and not even leave a mark. Although we do not recommend you try. It sits nearer the $400 mark, but you are paying for top quality with this unit.

 

 

Is Apex Legends Going to Dethrone Fortnite?

Fortnite has become a household name. Starting from humble origins, the game was meant to be a story focused multiplayer PvE experience. And as a fun addition, the developers added in a battle royale mode. Unbeknownst to them this would blow up in the most spectacular fashion and lead to a new era of gaming.

 

The Reign Of Fortnite

Fortnite is now one of the most talked-about games on the planet. Fortnite merch is everyone. Fortnite dancing dominates late-night Tv shows and popular apps such as TikTok. Major name celebrities have been hosting in-game concerts and major movie companies are running in-game tie in events.

We have seen controversy after controversy surrounding it as well. The rise in gaming addiction, particularly in younger gamers. And the recent battle against Apple as Epic games tried to start a revolution and weaponize their young audience.

There are few games in assistance that have had their name become so well known. World of Warcraft and Halo come to mind. But both of these were still somewhat shrouded in obscurity to the general, non-gaming citizen. Whereas everyone is fully aware of the obsession children have with Fortnite.

 

Unbeatable?

It seems that Fortnite is here to stay. No matter what happens there are too many die-hard fans ready to stand up and fight for Fortnite.

But, that doesn’t mean it is completely unstoppable. It is very likely that one day, a new game will appear that consumes the public eye so much that Fortnite will slowly begin to fall back into obscurity, as so many games often do. Nothing lasts forever. And we may have already found the game looking to dethrone Fortnite for good. Apex Legends.

 

Apex Legends

Apex Legends is seemingly another entry into the already over-saturated field of Battle Royale games. So why is it making such gigantic waves within the gaming community?

Firstly, the game offers a lot more variety than Fortnite or PUBG. These games have a lot of cosmetic options but very little in gameplay variety. Apex brings a full class and abilities system to the format making it more like a MOBA than the other two. But this works. We have seen how popular MOBAs have become over the years, so it is no surprise people have taken to this game so quickly.

Secondly, the game offers a lot more options for those looking to get ahead in the ranking systems and have a good time. With hundreds of options for hacks, cheats and various goodies for apex it is no wonder its audience seems to grow daily.

But is it enough for the game to simply be better than Fortnite for it to topple the might behemoth?

 

The Marketing Effect

Fortnite’s success can be heavily attributed to its fantastic marketing department. All the in-game concerts and tie in events are down to them, not the developers. The merchandise and fantastic PR stunts they are constantly pulling manage to keep the name Fortnite on everyone’s tongue. So is Apex pulling its weight in this department?

We say it is, but not for the same reasons. Apex is taking a much more measured and cautious approach to its marketing. Instead of shoving big events and movie tie-ins down your throat, it is using subtle and simple methods such as Twitch Prime goodies, PS plus extras, and carefully placed adverts to make sure it is getting seen.

Apex also works very closely with the most popular Apex streamers. They bend over backward to make sure these players and happy and engaging with the community so that more gamers will slowly flock to play.

In our opinion, there is a long way to go before Fortnite falls. But Apex has definitely fired the starting shot.

 

5 Of the Best Free Mobile Games to Try Right Now!

Most people in 2020 now own a smartphone, which is thanks to their advanced technology, apps, and features. It is easy to understand why everyone wants one as they are useful for jobs, socializing, taking amazing pictures, and also easing boredom. New apps are developed so regularly that there is never a shortage of things to do and games to play on your phone. If you’re someone who loves to play these games, it can become a bit overwhelming to decide which ones to download and which just aren’t worth it. If this is something you struggle with then this list might just help with that, as these are the five best free mobile games available on the app store.

 

Draw It

This mobile game is fun and quite addictive, currently rated very high on most app stores thanks to the fun that it provides. You won’t be bored as you try to draw the prompts you are given as fast as you can in competition with the other players in the game to reach the first place. The game is very competitive, perfect for people who love to win and you don’t have to be an aspiring artist in order to have fun, in fact, it can be even funnier to see what mess of a drawing you come up within the time allotted.

 

Rise of Kingdoms

Rise of Kingdoms is slightly less simple than the other games on this list, but it is undoubtedly just as fun. This game is perfect for people who love strategizing and warfare games as you create and protect your own civilization, launching wars to conquer other civilizations and eventually the world. Although this game is more complicated, that isn’t a reason to worry as there are some great online guides to help with strategizing, with https://rok.guide/ being one of the best.

 

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is a classic game with many spinoff games, which have been downloaded onto our phones over 3 billion times. This means that most people have played it at some point in their smartphone experience, however, if you haven’t then it is definitely one of the tops recommended games on this list to try out. The game provides hours of mindless and addictive fun and has proven to be so popular that there was even a movie made about it. If this doesn’t convince you to give it a go then what else will?

 

 

Best Fiends

You might’ve heard of this addictive game thanks to its advertising, both on YouTube and on TV. It is one of the highest-rated puzzle adventure game on the Apple App Store, thanks to the fun it provides. There are over 4000 different levels that provide hours of fun, with lots of cute characters to collect and bad guys to defeat. In addition to this, you can play competitively against your friends to earn some extra rewards, making it ideal for people who love a bit of competition.

 

Mario Kart Tour

Most of us have likely played Mario Kart at some point, on Wii or other gaming consoles. There is now an addictive version of the game to play on mobile, which is very similar to the original with most of your favorite original characters to race as. Additionally, it provides you with the ability to play it anywhere. You can compete against strangers around the world or invite your friends to race against you. You can even race on courses that resemble real-world cities, adding an extra element of fun and excitement to the game

Is Dreamhack Still Going ahead in 2021?

This global pandemic has hit everyone hard. There is no doubt about that. Nearly every industry out there is suffering. Concerts and sporting events have been canceled all over the place. And the gaming community is left wondering if the most popular events in the gaming world will even go ahead anymore?

This year we saw some of the biggest gaming events canceled. E3 didn’t go ahead, and instead, we were treated to individual showcases from the studios. With a lot of great surprises along the way.

PAX had to cancel a few of their expos as well. Usually, at the hub of the gaming community, this was a hit for everyone.

But the big question on everyone’s mind is this: Is Dreamhack going ahead in 2021?

 

What is Dreamhack

Dreamhack, for those that don’t know, is the world’s largest LAN party. Owned and run by a company of the same name, every year hundreds upon thousands of gamers flock to Sweden to participate in a solid 72 hours of non-stop gaming.

Due to the nature of Dreamhack, it also features the world’s fastest internet connection and is responsible for the most web traffic of anywhere at any time.

Dreamhack hosts all of the top-level e-sports games, such as Counter-Strike and LoL. There are high-end tournaments taking place over the weekend, with large cash prizes up for grabs. And there are small tournaments designed for anyone to be able to enter and take their shot at a few prizes.

Dreamhack also has a designated sleeping area where people can crash with their own sleeping bags. Rather than spend time in a hotel, just take a power nap and get back to gaming as soon as you’re ready.

But it is so much more than simply gaming. Dreamhack is also host to a slew of live concerts as well. This is matched by a myriad of fascinating art exhibitions, panels with game developers, costume contests, and a variety of food trucks. Dreamhack is a festival all its’ own, fueled by the passion for gaming.

Those in attendance can bring their own PC with them, or hire one for the weekend. So even if you don’t have a top of the range gaming PC, you can still take part.

2020

Everyone was geared up and ready for Dreamhack Summer 2020. The main hall had been retrofitted with All DXRacer gaming chair series chairs, to make sure all those in attendance were comfortable for their prolonged gaming sessions.

But then we were hit with a global pandemic. Dreamhack is not a festival that can socially distance. The sheer number of computers means there is little space between attendees. Not to mention the sleeping areas are always packed and the walkways are tight. So the decision was made to cancel the event for everyone’s safety.

A sad, but understandable decision. Originally, the event organizers had no idea what the world would look like in 2021. No one did for a while. And to an extent, we still don’t.

 

2021

As of this moment in time, Dreamhack summer is set to go ahead in 2021. But there are some provisions to that. The world is still in an uncertain position. We have no idea if companies will even be allowed to host events next year. Not to mention 2020 could still throw something else at us with a few months left in the year.

The organizers are warning people to plan for the trip, but don’t set their hopes too high. If they have to cancel again, it will be because it is the safest option and they are hoping people will understand.

The Problem of Chocolate

If you’re interested in roleplaying games and their design, you’ve probably already read Vincent Baker’s post about the clouds and boxes:

If the minute details of your game’s fiction don’t contribute meaningfully to your play, then even if you’re a stickler, over time you’re going to let those minute details fall away. Where your character’s standing, what he’s doing with his hands, how his eyes move when she comes around the stone fence, whether clouds pass in front of the sun or it glares down unmitigated – these things come to be like the character sheet that you leave in a binder in the drawer.

Vincent’s talking here about an easy mistake to make in game design — the finite state machine approach. You decide what you want the narrative to look like, but instead of providing incentive and economy, you mandate the appropriate series of events directly. The mechanics can run without narration at all — so, eventually, they do. And when the players complain that the game feels “thin,” that it’s “all about combat,” that it’s just “rollplaying,” the designer, or the loyal fans, respond that if you want a deep narrative, all you have to do is choose to provide one! But with no mechanical reason to describe their actions carefully or lovingly consider the environment, people won’t bother, even though failing to do so is exactly what makes the game less interesting for them.

In this sense, Vincent’s observation is an example of a larger principle of design. When a player encounters a game, they put input in along the lines that occur to them (or, for a newer player, more or less at random) and take action according to the output they receive — but they interpret that output economically, according to their dopamine responses, not according to the interaction that takes place. They’ll seek to refine skill, they’ll be fascinated by randomness, and most of all, they’ll value rewards — in whatever form the game uses — over process. They’ll have a lot of trouble valuing intangibles, which, unfortunately, includes fun.

Anybody who’s ever played an MMO has already seen this in action. If you provide players with two routes to a goal — a “scenic” route that’s more fun and interesting but longer and a “shortcut” that’s tedious and unpleasant but quick — you might expect that most players will end up taking the scenic route, while a few unusually intense players will take the shortcut. In reality, what happens is that most players will take the shortcut. They’ll tell other players to take the shortcut, and make fun of — even exclude — players who try to take the scenic route. They’ll keep doing their utmost to refine your shortcut until it’s as fast, and as unpleasant, as conceivably possible. And while they’re doing this they’ll complain that your game isn’t fun because you’re “forcing” them to do stuff they hate!

Here’s William Poundstone, from Priceless:

You have your choice of two equally fine chocolates. One is small and shaped like a heart. The other is big and shaped like a cockroach. Which do you choose? [Christopher] Hsee has posed this dilemma to students and friends, finding that most choose the cockroach chocolate. The kicker is that when Hsee asks people which chocolate they would enjoy more, most admit it’s the smaller one, shaped like a heart. (p. 288)

You cannot trust people to maximize their own happiness.

Happiness isn’t quantifiable, you see. It can’t be weighed, it doesn’t increase your stats, it won’t unlock any achievements. You can’t measure happiness.

But you can measure chocolate.

Designing People

I’ve been putting this post off for almost a month, partly because I’ve been so busy, and partly because it’s kind of a big deal to me. Near the beginning of June, in the course of two days, I closed the book on my first self-published game, Dog Eat Dog, and helped launch the first social game I worked on at Loot Drop, Pettington Park. From zero games to two games in a week is a hell of a thing, and I’m very proud and grateful to everybody who has given me the opportunity to do what I love. You can buy Dog Eat Dog right here. Now I just have to keep going.

My friend Elizabeth Sampat made an interesting post a while back that goes to the heart of something I’ve been trying to put into words here — Everything is Game Design. A game is really just a system of rules with a presumed internal logic, after all. By that definition, games are everywhere. For example, I don’t apply economic analysis because I think games are economics; I do it because economics is really just a subset of game design. But, then, what is game design?

When the Nintendo first came out, it was marketed towards — and was a great success among — a specific demographic: kids, that tiny span of life between 6 and 12 years old. It’s funny, in some respects, that this is the case, because some of those early games are absurdly difficult, especially if you try to pick them up now, when you’ve (probably) gotten past 12 years old. Given the things that people were doing on the system, why would they aim it at kids — and why did kids love it so intensely?

Well, it’s really tradition, at some level — kids have always been perceived as the primary players of games. But it’s also a larger point: at those ages, people are developing their strategies for surviving, and achieving, in the real world, and the process they use to do this is the exact process you use to learn about and succeed at a game: putting in input, observing the results, forming mental models, chunking and categorizing, looking for feedback loops, and everything else game designers have to think about all the time.

Let’s say you have a game with two levers, one labeled “Act Out” and one labeled “Be Good.” When you pull the Act Out lever, ominous music plays and monsters come out. When you pull the Be Good lever, nothing happens. What are you going to do when you play this game? You’re going to pull the Act Out lever all the time. Monsters might be unpleasant and even dangerous…but they’re better than NOTHING HAPPENING. If the only feedback you can get is negative feedback, you’re still going to go for that feedback in preference to no feedback at all.

Sound familiar?

Game design — and by implication, most forms of design — isn’t primarily mathematics or aesthetics. Primarily, game design is cognitive psychology. It’s just that instead of applying it to people, you apply it to the world people live in — and by doing so, design the people themselves.