I am wary of and won’t go near any mobile games like that now after losing a year of my life to each game. I’m surprised I even went to Animal Crossing after quitting The Simpsons but I think it was because it was when AC had just released so they hadn’t put in mechanics that required heavy time investment and also loot boxes yet. But yeah in terms of just the manipulation and general gamification of well, games. I’m not a fan of that either! I’ve been addicted to two mobile games called The Simpsons Tapped Out and Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. I kicked both habits after about a year a piece when both games made it impossible to get items in game without paying. I.e. you couldn’t get them through pure gameplay. Quitting both games felt like such a huge relief, like a big weight off my shoulders as I was literally planning my day around playing them. I’m sure you know how they work with the cool down timers and such. You can fit in like 5 plays in your waking hours.
In terms of actual full price games that had those mechanics, I tend to steer clear after I had a 9 month bout with Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled. It really is an amazing game but keeping up with the monthly events was so harsh on my physical and mental well being. I’m glad that came to an end.
But yeah, saving for a Series X with MS points reminds me of how I got my PS3. I got that through something that coca cola did called CokeZone. It was while I was at uni and I was drinking litres of Diet Coke every day anyway so I thought I’d cash in my points. A couple years later, I had a PS3 delivered to my doorstep! (And now I drink Pepsi Max 😂) I think I must be the worse sort of customer for this MS Rewards thing to be honest. I never read the answers to the polls or quizzes. I just press whatever so I don’t know what amount of quality data they are actually able to collect on me and any links that are supposed to be adverts are only clicked on for a split second before I go back a page. Only very occasionally will I buy stuff in the store for the punchcards and it’s normally if I want something anyway and I think I’ll buy a few other things that I could probably wait to buy, but I just get them to round it up to £35 or whatever it is. But I’d buy the games later down the line anyway and the discounts won’t be much different so I think the only thing I could be helping is MS’ immediate cashflow. And also, I only ever use Edge or Bing for the rewards. I use Chrome for browsing on my phone (I just gave up on privacy seeing as I’m sure the Google AI can see everything I do anyway) and I use Mozilla Firefox with the duck duck go plug in on the computer.
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