The Houses of Nor Saga : Resistance

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It's the new Angry Birds. It's the top app in the world by number of users--of which it has 44 million regular ones, according to AppData. Daily, 6. All that lucrative popularity is fueled not by some slick design, nor by some remarkable premise supported by masterful storytelling. Both, in the case of Candy Crush, actually leave much to be desired.

The New York Times hypothesized that some of the game's appeal lies in its cross-platform synchronization and its user-testing of features and levels, which King, the London-based company behind the game, updates and rolls out to users with a frequency that would make Rovio's palms moist.

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Maybe it's just that I have a sister who's a behavioral psychologist and I've heard a lot about reinforcement schedules and the like including the fascinating fact that most animals like to take a little risk for a big reward, illuminated by the fact that she taught several pigeons to gamble , but I think there's something beautifully motivating about Candy Crush that might be the real reason it's so damn popular. When you run out of moves and you're staring at a maddeningly childish looking rainbow screen with a dancing doll or a genie on it, it's a feeling akin to being in an argument with a teenager--that "I probably shouldn't be wasting my time here but I should… should!

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The way my sister would explain it is that almost all gambling games use random or variable schedules of reinforcement, which, to highly simplify things, means that rewards come at random or differing intervals and have random or differing payoffs. Behaviors in this case, swiping candies on the game screen or even your behavior of looking feverishly around the board are reinforced by these random rewards, making them more "resistant to extinction.

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It's perhaps easiest to think about this in the inverse: Wouldn't it be boring if every time you pulled the lever on a slot machine you got the same exact coin back? Yahoo Finance echoed this theory of some sort of perfect storm of behaviorist-style reinforcement being the root of so many people getting hooked--and spending money--on the game. My sister says there's not only the random or variable schedules to blame when a game, project, or challenge gets you hooked.

Here's how she explained it casually to me in an email. The problem here is that the feeling of inadequacy in losing simply gets old. And the Yahoo piece notes that the enjoyment players get from both variable reinforcement and primal pattern recognition here's a video explaining this concept are addictive, but not engaging for the long-term.

It says that's the reason Candy Crush could fade in popularity--and, thus, massive profitability--soon. And if Candy Crush drops, that will leave King gaming, the year-old company that created this phenomenon, scrambling for the next hit--or risk damaging its IPO prospects.

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Gow, however, had declared war not only on the enemies of his youth, not only on the empires and other constituted authorities of his day, but he had declared war on all earthly forces , including Death itself. When hanged on the gallows in , Gow managed to break his noose through sheer, brute force. The second time took.

The first Prize they took was an English Sloop…This was a Prize of no Value to them, for they knew not what to do with the Fish; so they took out the Master…and his Men…and what else they found worth taking out, and sunk the Vessel…. They stood away for Porto Santa , about ten Leagues to the Windward of Maderas , and belonging also to the Portuguese ; here putting up British Colours, they sent their Boat ashore with Captain Somervills Bill of Health, and a present to the Governour of three Barrels of Salmon, and six Barrels of Herrings, and a very civil Message, desiring leave to Water, and to buy some Refreshments….

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The Governour very courteously granted their Desire…went off himself, with about Nine or ten of his principal People, to pay the English Captain a Visit…. Having no better Success in this out of the way run, to the Maderas , they resolved to make the best of their way back again to the Coast of Spain or Portugal …. They met with a New England Ship…laden with Staves, and bound for Lison , and being to Load there with Wine for London ; this was a Prize also of no Value to them, and they began to be very much discouraged with their bad Fortune.

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This was the last Prize they took, not only on the Coast of Portugal , but any where else…. Then it was offered…to go away to the Honduras , and to the Bay of Campeachy among the Buccaniers and Logwood Cutters, and there they should in the first Place be sure to pick up forty or fifty stout Fellows, good Sailors, and bold, enterprising Men, who understand the Spaniards , and the Spanish Coast on both sides of America as well as any Men in the World….

The first was a young Man, who was originally one of the Ships Company, but was Forced by fear of being Murdered…to give a silent Assent to go with them, he took an Opportunity to get away…escaped to Kirkwall , a Market-Town, and the Chief of the Orkneys , about 12 Miles from the Place where the Ship lay…. Honnyman of Grahamsey , Sheriff of the County, and who was himself at that Time, to his great good Fortune, from Home….