Idle Games - How Games Scratch Your Multitasking Itch - Extra Credits -

Idle Games – How Games Scratch Your Multitasking Itch – Extra Credits

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Games that ask the player to do nothing more than wait while numbers increase have seen a surge in popularity. They fill a developing modern need for activity, giving players a window in their browser they can compulsively check while cycling between other interests. The fact that they ask for so little makes it easier for them to fulfill a multitasking impulse, scratching the player’s itch to feel like they’re accomplishing many tasks when their main focus (like listening to a lecture or working at their desk) requires them to sit still.
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♪ Intro Music: “Penguin Cap” by CarboHydroM

♪ Outro Music: “Crystal Potion” by posu yan


  1. i'm listening to this while playing 3 idle games. On my computer is clicker heroes and cookie clicker, and on my phone i'm also playing clicker heroes.

  2. Speaking of the devil I switch to a game called billionaire

  3. Games with idle/AFK game modes and mechanics are a good compromise to me. I played games like Granado Espada for almost 10 years and Black Desert Online for a few months last year, not because the gameplay is fundamentally great or anything, but because they allowed me to play the game even while I was asleep or at work, but with significantly more agency than pure idle games.

    In Granado Espada you can park your characters in the field and they'll use basic attacks to fight the continuously-spawning enemies around them automatically. If you get a looter pet, which is recommended of course for playing AFK, it will try to pick up any loot in its range. There is no penalty to exp or drop rate for doing this, but it isn't as fast of course as actively running through a dungeon, pulling more aggro and using skills for AoE damage and stuff. So I would park my characters in this way before bed, and when I wake up, I bring my characters back to town, sell my loot, then park my characters somewhere again as I got ready to go out. Then when I got home, I'd do that again as I go about the rest of the things I need to do for the day, such as dinner or homework.

    It usually took about 8-12 hours before my inventory would be full, and you could earn a decent amount of money from it even just with trash drops. Plus the continuous exp gain of course. If I had a few hours to spare in that day then I can spend it actually playing the game, doing raid dungeons or the story quests and stuff. But the majority of the time for me in the game is certainly done AFK. And it felt good because there was progress made every time.

    Now I have to clarify: I didn't think that Granado Espada was a good game really. Sure it introduced a lot of novel ideas, and has a great soundtrack and cool aesthetic, but the devs made a lot of strange design choices that feel contrary to what should be considered fun, or made limitations to choices for interesting gameplay (the expert stance system, for example, is meh). It's pretty bad in many aspects, and I don't recommend it to most players looking for a robust gaming experience. But it's still the first game I think about when it comes to having mechanics that allowed me to live my life without feeling like I'm not doing something game-related, especially during those years when I really didn't have much time to play at all even during the weekends.

  4. Farmville Facebook was such cancer those people who would just invite everyone on their thing made me want to destroy my phone

  5. EC: "It won't stay as popular."
    2019: Idle games are still very popular
    EC: surprised pikachu face

  6. in my next game i'm going to make a 30 dollar microtransaction called (Make numbers go up)

  7. Multitasking is horrible for human brain. It destroys the ability to focus properly. And be asured, anything you do without focusing, yo suck at it. The more time spent multitasking (switching your attention), the worse you focus at ANYTHING you do, even when you need to.

  8. i had an ad for an idle game in this vid

  9. Some idle games help people in business and strategy

  10. I actively play a few idle games. I leave em running while I watch videos or have in depth conversations with my husband. I'd say Idle games are more akin to lo-fi hip hop, always in the background and generally pleasant to have around.

    yes I am subbed to ChilledCow, why do you ask?

  11. I have seen so many ads for like a thousand different idle games.

  12. And 5 years later, going on 6, it's a goddamn epidemic…

  13. 2019 and I'm still super confused by their existence. EDIT: ah shit I'm probably going to do one in the next lecture I'm in to see if those kids are right.

  14. In the beggining they thought it was a puppy, now, it is a REALLY BIG TUMOROUS CANCER, and it is overlaping really good games that don't have the deserved attencion because of the idle games, one day I was going to install a game on my phone, and there was no actual good game, just idles, and this pisses me off 'cause there are people that actually want something to do on a game, and unfortunally in some years, there will be just idle games on mobile

  15. I T S T I M E T O G R O W G L O R I U S P O T A T O S

  16. sometimes i play idle games while i watch videos (like extra credits) or i play a regular game and an idle game at the same time.

  17. I play kazuya kamioka games it is unpopular but it is a good game

  18. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed These. I didn’t even know this was a thing until just now.

  19. "If you've spent any time on Kongregate lately…"

    Hold up. What year is it?

  20. me, playing tangerine tycoon: huh, guess your right

  21. I'm playing Swarm Simulator while watching this

  22. This was 5 years ago.. now im sad. We need an updated 2020 video

  23. I have ADHD and use them as a fidget type of thing to keep focused

  24. Yes, it is a bad thing. Multitasking is mostly a myth, and people should put that shit away during lectures. They think they're paying attention, but 95% of them are not.

  25. Oh, s**t! I just remembered that I used to play Progress Quest.

  26. basicly, idle games respect more the time of the player – irony – and design around the exist-game factor to make going back increasily more interessing

  27. I come from 2020 to say, there are now many idle games on the App Store.

  28. Exponential idle is literally a game where you see numbers go up.

  29. I'm here from 2021 and yes people still love and play these games! 🙂

  30. 1:55 in February 2020 I’ve played for officially 100 days as of today.

  31. press F to pay respects to the thousands of planets we've turned into paperclips

  32. That's also a reason why a lot of people do not believe me about Kongregate being a fun flash game site considering that they've haven't experienced real good ones like Epic Battle Fantasy 5.

    Yes, I recall using some of my free time to sharpen my life skills with the Touhou Project mainline games and Super Mario Odyssey including Celeste.

  33. I use FM(football manager) for this exact reason. A thing to do in the background whilst working or similar activities. Great video!!

  34. I think you legit have to have autism or something to enjoy these games.

  35. I watch YouTube. I don't play idle games and p2w. Plus those games are overwhelming. U have to log in at this time and collect that achievement or daily. Like yikes. I just want to have fun not do a job

  36. I like playing FPS games, & as a game developer I was asked if we can make such kinds of games, and while checking the game mechanics, I loved the game "Tap hero", I was wondering there is no actual challenge, I will still win even if I don't do anything, I loved upgrading the equipments , the damage stats, costumes.
    I personally think a lot of stats design goes into these kind of games.

  37. Huh, Idle games are addicting to me. I don't know if it's because they've changed to be so over the years but the ones I play now definitely keep me hooked doing minimal stuff

  38. I think playing a lot of these Idol games is almost like running a business with Investments and profits

  39. "I think many idle game designers will start naturally move their games towards the unfolding games we talked about earlier this year"
    This prediction was spot on, and it has become so much of the genre that even the idle game subreddit is a merge of idle games and unfolding/unboxing games (r/incremental_games)

  40. People: play idle rpg
    Me: build a stable economy in strategy/simulation game and wait.

  41. Wasn't there a game that started with chopping wood, slowly added more mechanics like an explorable map, and then ended with building a spaceship or something. I swear it was on EC and they called it an unpacking or unboxing game or something.

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