Reciprocity

Feeling obligated to return a favor, share resources, trade an item, etc.

If the game allows you to share resources, trade items or send gifts to your friends or other players then it may be using the dark pattern of Reciprocity. The person who receives your gift may feel a sense of obligation to return the favor. They may not have resources to share, and so they may feel bad that they gave something valuable away, or they may feel shame or guilt if they do not reciprocate. These unwanted negative feelings make the game less enjoyable.

If a game allows players to band together into guilds or clans, then sharing resources may be a requirement for participating in the group. Players may be punished by the leaders for not pulling their weight and helping out the team by donating valuable items.

The social pressure to donate items to other players means that you are giving up some of your own valuable resources that you have spent time and maybe money earning. This means that you have to spend more time and money to earn those items again.


Examples

Soundmap: The Music Game Soundmap: The Music Game
"Trading songs is the main point of the game"

GraalOnline Era+ GraalOnline Era+
"There is a whole economy about trading, and it’s filled with usd."

Flutter: Starlight Flutter: Starlight
"Randomized free gifts can be sent to up to 5 players you have friended a day (or more with premium currency), sending these gifts gives you points for rewards you get which are not insignificant for completion."

Board Kings™️ Board Kings™️
"does the action card to leave a gift on someone's board count?"

Terraria Terraria
"Terraria is a sandbox game, so you can trade, but it’s not a feature that is advertised"

Isekai:Slow Life Isekai:Slow Life
"Kind of. you send others daily rewards."

Wuthering Waves Wuthering Waves
"Other players can steal your resources that take 24 hours to replenish, too (and by default they don't even have to ask)"

Airlines Manager : Tycoon 2019 Airlines Manager : Tycoon 2019
"You could donate (in-game money) to help your in-alliance friend buying airplanes"

AFK Journey AFK Journey
"Friends list, where you can send and receive 10 gifts a day. Your power level is shown on the friends list."

TheoTown TheoTown
"Not a dark pattern really. Just selling resources to neighbouring tiles"