Critical Play: Competitive Analysis

The game I decided to play was makeitmeme which is an online game where you are given a meme and have to create a caption for the meme. Once everyone captions their meme, there is a voting round for each meme which determines points. After a few rounds of meme creation, the game is over. It’s a meme-themed game that lets the player have fun while creating their memes but also while enjoying the memes that other players create using a bit of narrative, expression, and fellowship. The shared knowledge and memories of seeing memes in their contexts and then creating new, relatable contexts for the memes allows for a fun game. There was also a chat system that allowed for people to send their thoughts on the memes real time, which gave an impression of being with people even though it was all online. 

The game is similar in a sense to any cards against humanity-type game where people come up with funny captions and then determine the winner in some way. However, with this game, there was a layer of anonymity since you didn’t know the other players. I don’t think that this contributed greatly to the fun of the game and might have even detracted from it since there were some comments in the chat that were negative. However, it allows for anyone to play the game at any time since the players are from all around the world. 

There wasn’t really a good way to handle the abuse that might happen in the meme creation or in the chat. There were rules that you needed to agree to that were against abusive language and such before you were allowed to use the chat, but there was no way to enforce these rules. 

I think there are a few ways to make the game better. For one, adding a method for reporting bad players that handles abuse cases quickly would be a good way to ensure that no one gets harmed from playing the game. Another way to make the game better is to prevent people from joining mid-game and instead having people wait until a new game starts. There were a number of people, including me, who joined the game midway through and just voted on the memes which may have thrown off some of the votes. I also wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do since I joined midway through the game and didn’t know all of the rules, so it would be good to make the rules clearer and add some more clarity around the magic circle for the game. 

The two screenshots I added below highlight the main mechanics of the game: meme creation and voting. The key dynamics that came up in the game are seen in the chat box in the bottom left which shows how interactive people became during the voting process. They wanted to share their thoughts, and the chat ended up being active the entire voting time.

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