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.


Fishdom Fishdom
"you can give people an extra life and there is a specific button for asking people for that"

Dragon RPG: Dragon Village M Dragon RPG: Dragon Village M
"There's a trade system where you can trade dragons"

Peridot Peridot
"The breeding is entirely social and cannot be accessed otherwise. All breeding is set up via text message in bonfire accounts"

IdleOn - Idle MMO IdleOn - Idle MMO
"Trading for real life money"

Empires & Puzzles: RPG Quest Empires & Puzzles: RPG Quest
"Not in any way that would actually be helpful. There is a regular purchase you can make that buys you something "good" and gives your friends something "kind of good", and you feel obligated to buy it because others do."

Obey Me! #Shall we date? Obey Me! #Shall we date?
"you can get energy from other players"

Stardew Valley Stardew Valley
"in a way? you can have a multiplayer world with others, but you can't join anyone else's world without communicating between yourselves first"

"Social points which can be used for rolls"

Pikmin Bloom Pikmin Bloom
"you can send postcards from locations you've visited to friends once a day"

Kawaii Home Design Kawaii Home Design
"You can donate or receive materials everyday, from your guild members or friends outside of your guild. The game encourages this donate x donate system."