Hey Gamer Plz Read This! Its about how to use your lack of reading comprehension to our advantage! >:)
If given the chance to read a book or play a videogame, what would you choose? If you chose “read a book”, then I question your career choice. At the very least, if you are active within the industry, having the desire to read sophisticated literature rather than blow the heads off of zombies shows a vast disconnect between you and your consumer base. Gamers do not like to read things. Once you understand this cold hard fact, then you can begin to dumb down your text so it can actually be seen. Writing to gamers is an exercise that would make William Shakespeare facepalm so hard that he would forget that his sonnets are written predominantly in a meter called iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme in which each sonnet line consists of ten syllables. You see how BORING that last sentence was? If you were a gamer, you likely would have tuned it out immediately! Proper sentence structure, paragraph indents, it all means nothing to a zombie killing machine! So how do you get these maniacs to read your game descriptions or follow the instructions within a patch update? Well, gamers do have a certain degree of reading comprehension, it’s just a bit different than what your average blogger is use too. But don’t worry! Here is a guide!
The Guide to Gamer Comprehension:
- Gamers are likely going to either scan your text quickly, or stare at it blankly for a total of 1.5 seconds before attempting an action. Interestingly enough, this action will likely be similar to what your text is trying to instruct. This is because gamers want to do…whatever it is that you want them to do, they just want to do it quickly! I mean, the zombies aren’t going to kill themselves! So REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT! It may be considered rude or unconventional in a traditional sense, however, repeating the main point throughout the text will higher your chances that if the gamers happen to read anything at all, then likely it will be the most important part!
2. Gamers are a simple bunch. They are impressed by flashing colors, and talking zombies! Try rhyming the main theme of your text. The brain naturally remembers rhymes more so than properly structured wording. Example: “If you are having difficulty reaching the final level of Zombie Peace, then you should attempt to gather the various health items that you may find along the way; health items are disguised as various dessert items.” or “To stay alive, eat the pie!”
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3. It may not make much logical sense, but most gamers assume that the quicker they read your text, the sooner they’ll have the knowledge to do… whatever it is you want them to do. So, many gamers simply scroll to bottom, only stopping to look for pictures. They’ll read the last line of text, and then go about their way. It’s a sound theory, but only works if the writer makes the last line of text meaningful. As similar to #1, repeat your main point as your final line!
4. Use pictures! Gamers, often on their scroll towards the bottom, will stop to look at whatever images you’ve posted. Add a nice pic of an attractive zombie eating some brains, and then repeat your most important points near, or in the subtext of that image. If you don’t have room for any images, bolding & CAPITALIZING work as well.
5. Use the word because! Gamers hate being told what to do. They however, love excuses and apologies. Call it an inflated sense of self worth if you like, but gamers like knowing WHY they need to do something. “Because” is a powerful tool. Example: “You need to eat the pie because it will give you health to stay alive!” Also, Don’t be afraid to kill two birds with one stone.
6. Gamers love having choices, as previously stated they hate being told what to do. It makes them feel like zombies. Give them options: you have option A or option B. Each option may lead to exactly the same outcome, but it makes the gamer feel as if they have a choice!
7. As a gamer stares at your text for that 1.5 seconds of eternity, their zombified brain will pick out the words that excite them. Write a wall of text and randomly insert the name “Solid Snake” and that zombie will come alive…and eat the pie. Yes that was stupid, but you’ll remember that last line two weeks from now!
8. This is so important. Bulleting your points not only gives the illusion that readers have a choice in what they choose to read. But it causes them to slow down and recognize each point as something different. Much like the level structure of a video game, users will assume that your first point is the least important, and your last point is the most important. They will also rank the points in between accordingly. So take advantage, and repeat your main point last!
I want to tell a quick story of something that happened today. On our platform Prelaunch.me, we are running a campaign for Bleach: Brave Souls! For the gift, users have to vote for what piece of Ichigo merchandise they’d like to receive. To do this they have to vote in an official designated voting topic. All votes made outside of that topic, do not count. This was made clear, however it was in paragraph form. 30 people voted in the correct topic, nearly 100 voted somewhere else.
- I decided to bullet point the steps on how to cast a vote.
- Users saw that they needed to go to the chat room topic to vote.
- All other votes would not be counted.
- After the bullets, nearly 100% of the users cast their votes correctly.
- The text I needed read, users just wouldn’t, so I decided to bullet!
Oh, and if you scanned this article then you should have PIE and ZOMBIES on the brain…and your probably expecting me to repeat that back to you! This is the way it was designed, so read the whole post to find out why! ;-)