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


Dragon Champions Dragon Champions
"Yes but, ONLY if you DON'T spend. It's pretty nuts."

Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes
"Started only recently for the most part."

Helix Jump Helix Jump
"Lots of unskippable ads."

WWE SuperCard – Multiplayer Card Battle Game WWE SuperCard – Multiplayer Card Battle Game
"Not intrusive, but rewarded ads exist."

Mortal Kombat Mortal Kombat
"The player can watch up to three advertisements to receive in-game currency."

MARVEL Strike Force MARVEL Strike Force
"The game promotes its on transactions that can not be called micro."

Walking Dead: Road to Survival Walking Dead: Road to Survival
"You can get 3 coins to watch an ad. It takes like 250 coins to do a single pull for a toon."

Crossy Road Crossy Road
"Ads play after some losses, and the game rewards you for watching ads."

Grub Guardian Grub Guardian
"wants you to play the game its based on"

Hard Time Hard Time
"game gives you ads if you dont turn off your internet while playing"