Interactivity and Interpassivity

Compelling interactions and mechanics in incremental idle clickers
Christoffer Larsson, 2019 Thesis

Incremental idle clickers is a genre of games where gameplay revolves around simple interactions like clicking the screen repeatedly to accumulate currency. The clicking action is often automatized by the game. This thesis investigates qualities that make interactions in incremental idle clickers compelling and motivating. The incremental idle clickers genre adopts mechanics and interactions that were experienced as compelling, motivating and anxiety-inducing. The “idle” mechanic allows the game to run without player interaction and proved to be central in relation to the player experience. Through a user-centered design-process, the compelling and motivating nature can be suggested to emerge from three major experiences of the genre: monotony, intrusive omnipresence and demanding. The result includes a discovery of the ambiguous tension and balance between interactivity and interpassivity (Žižek and Pfaller) in the genre. Finding this balance may prove beneficial to the player experience. I identified ethical challenges concerning the game depriving players of satisfying gameplay.

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The three major scenes of the prototype game
The three major scenes of the prototype game

Prototype testing