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


Pick Me Up™ Pick Me Up™
"so many advertisements each couple levels"

Water Sort Puzzle Water Sort Puzzle
"Have to watch an ad every time you finish a puzzle, want to restart a puzzle, or want to add more tubes to make the puzzle easier."

Chuzzle 2 Chuzzle 2
"yes, but you can pay a flat fee to permanently get rid of advertisements (although there are still some available to watch for rewards)"

Hideaways -Spot the difference Hideaways -Spot the difference
"Just recently seen an inappropriate game ad about zombies. Also you can have a free hint by watching an ad."

SimCity BuildIt SimCity BuildIt
"Few many times to count."

BitLife - Life Simulator BitLife - Life Simulator
"Even offline, the game still has in-game advertisements"

Kawaii Home Design Kawaii Home Design
"The game gives you rewards for watching ads. There's literally about 50 adds per day if you want all of them." - Free Game - Free Game
"Can pay once to remove ads"

Solitaire Deluxe® 2 Solitaire Deluxe® 2
"Advertisements between every single level."

Kawaii Kitchen Kawaii Kitchen
"There are intrusive ads."