Forced to watch ads or given rewards for watching ads.

Many games, especially free-to-play games, contain advertising. Instead of paying for the game with money, you pay for it with your attention. People are more willing to part with their attention than with their money, and often aren't aware of how much time they are giving to these in-game advertisements.

Advertisements by themselves are not necessarily a Dark Pattern, but they can become one if they are made too intrusive and interrupt normal gameplay too frequently. For example:

1) Ads that cannot be skipped.
2) Giving rewards for watching ads.
3) Tricking you into clicking on an ad by placing it in a place where you might accidentally click on it.
3) Disguising an ad to make it look like part of the game.

Games can sometimes treat watching an ad as a form of in-app currency to enable other dark patterns. For example, some games allow you to replenish your energy by watching an ad. This is a form of Pay to Skip where you are paying with your attention instead of money.
Citations and SourcesUXP2 Dark Patterns
Disguised Ads


I Love Hue I Love Hue
"Can pay to remove ads"

Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
"The message boards include ads."

Best Fiends - Puzzle Adventure Best Fiends - Puzzle Adventure
"So many... You can watch an ad every 10 minutes to get two keys, and if you don't have VIP, you have to watch two ads in order to spin the "Fiend Of Fortune". Then, at random intervals (not all the time), it will offer you to watch an ad to get a power boost and/or an extra move before you start playing a level."

Bacon – The Game Bacon – The Game
"Intrusive ads evers few failures. Watch ad to skip hard level."

Phase 10: World Tour Phase 10: World Tour
"Forced ads between levels, ads to get 'free' (read: essential) power ups, and ads to refill energy."

Bingo Aloha -Free Bingo Games with Friends at Home Bingo Aloha -Free Bingo Games with Friends at Home
"You can watch ads for in game prizes or perks"

Mini Market Mini Market
"An ad is after pretty much every level."

AdVenture Ages AdVenture Ages
"Ads to increase production, stocked up."

Overcrowded Tycoon Overcrowded Tycoon
"One of the common daily tasks is watching a certain number of advertisements. Many other progression tasks require watching ads."

Best Fiends - Free Puzzle Game Best Fiends - Free Puzzle Game
"You must choose to opt in to these, but it offers free rewards for them"