Adam Alter

“Super Mario Bros. hooks newcomers because there are no barriers to playing the game. You can know absolutely nothing about the Nintendo console and still enjoy yourself from the very first minute. There's no need to read motivation-sapping manuals or grind through educational tutorials before you begin. Instead, your avatar, Mario appears on the left-hand side of an almost empty screen. Because the screen is empty, you can push the Nintendo controller's buttons randomly and harmlessly, learning which ones make Mario jump and which ones make him move left and right. You can't move any further left, so you quickly learn to move right. And you aren't reading a guide that tells you which keys are which--instead, you're learning by doing, and enjoying the sense of mastery comes from acquiring knowledge through experience. The first few seconds of gameplay are brilliantly designed to simultaneously do two very difficult things: teach, and preserve the illusion that nothing is being taught at all.”


Adam Alter, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
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Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter
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