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

Cat Game - The Cats Collector! Cat Game - The Cats Collector!
"You can request a type of material from your club once every six hours."

Hearthstone Hearthstone
"Friendly quests for gold"

World of Tanks Blitz MMO World of Tanks Blitz MMO
"Not really but you unlock special traits with yout team if you play frequently."

Roblox Roblox
"Only if you're registered with a paid membership, yes."

Grub Guardian Grub Guardian
"lets you upgrade a pet that you can combine with other peoples pets to share your upgrades"

Command & Conquer™: Rivals PVP Command & Conquer™: Rivals PVP
"Not a real issue to begin with"

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
"There is market box system where you can share items with your friends, encouraging players to pick and share certain fruit to share with friends."

Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes
"The gear donation mechanism (and my guild leaders) make me feel guilty for not donating items to my guildmates."