Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are all games with dark patterns unethical or evil?

No. It's all about how the game developer implements a particular feature and what their intent is. For example, a game that has collectible items is not instantly a dark pattern game. But, if this is combined with the ability for a player to spend unlimited amounts of money to attempt to complete that collection, then the combination becomes more harmful than good. When looking at something like this, you need to decide if the game developer has added collecting to the game because it adds enjoyment to the game, or is it added as a mechanism to get people to spend money trying to satisfy the psychological urge to complete a collection. It's not all black and white.

Do dark patterns make a game unenjoyable?

No. There are many games that use dark patterns that are enjoyable games. Likewise, there are many games that don't use any dark patterns that are dreadfully boring. This website does not attempt to rate games based on how enjoyable they are to play. There are plenty of other game review websites that do that. We are focused on identifying the dark patterns used in games, which is not the same thing as being enjoyable to play.

Are you saying that all games should be free?

No. People who make games deserve to earn a living. Games should be monetized either through a one-time upfront cost, reasonable advertisements, or responsible in-app purchases. When a game uses aggressive ads or allows people to spend unlimited amounts of money, that's when it starts leaning towards the harmful end of the spectrum.