Friday, August 15, 2008

A Kongregation of Flashy Statistics

Gasp, it's Friday, and I haven't made my post on Table Salt Games yet! Let's take a look at Richard's last post. He played the flash version of Portal on Newgrounds? Allow me to explain why this is both foolish, and a great idea, but first, some background.

Kongregate is a site containing oodles and oodles of flash games. There are tons of sites like that, what makes this one special is that you can register for it. That is more of a drawback than a plus, until you realize that once you register, you can earn badges by completing certain tasks. For example, in Portal: The Flash Version, you can earn the "Cakewalk" badge by completing level 5, and the "Deceptive Dessert" badge by completing level 40. (Both of which I have done.)

What do these badges do? They give you points, which become associated with your profile. And these points, surely they must do something, right? Of course not. If this sounds eerily familiar, then you are aware of the Xbox 360's achievement system. Instead of badges, you get achievements, and instead a higher point total, you get a higher gamerscore, which is also useless. Since these points don't do anything, most people wouldn't register for Kongregate, or bother playing easy games on Xbox to get a higher gamerscore, right?

If you thought that, you would be dead wrong. Even though these scores are nothing more than a worthless 'e-penis' people go bananas for them. This is beginning to encroach on an idea I have for a Will and Beyond post, but numbers really motivate people. So why is Richard playing this game on Newgrounds versus Kongregate foolish? He's not earning precious points! On the other hand, why is it a great idea? Once you start collecting points, you don't want to stop, and there goes your time.

My labmate and I are in competition for points, and it can hurt your productivity if you're not careful. Speaking of points, you also get points for referring people, so if this post has made you want to sign up, and you haven't yet developed a disdain for me, use this referral link when you sign up.

There is a countless number of great games over at Kongregate, but to avoid ruining Richard's new Flash Friday column by giving you a huge list of them, I'll just give you two good ones, Shift and Desktop Tower Defense. The former is Portal-esque, and the latter is a huuuuge time drain, but a fun time drain.

Photo: Flickr



Richard R. said...

Wow, I may go to that site now and start Portal from the beginning. I need to get the e-penis!

And damn you for talking about Shift. I was going to talk about that one eventually. The Desktop Tower Defense looks cool though. I'll give it a whirl.

Anonymous said...

I figured I can't have a post about a flash site and not at least feature a couple of its games. 1 of 2 isn't bad; I had a fear that I might have wiped two games off your list. Even though I talked about Shift I'm sure there are things after Shift you could talk about...

Anyhow, at one flash game a week, you'll still have enough games to post about for the next 30 years or so.

Lemme know if you sign up; my username there is randomguy132.

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