Puzzle pirates makes an inspired leap in creating a social network around casual games, acknowledging the cross-over between the audiences. I haven't played enough to give a comprehensive analysis of it's components, but my experience has revealed some interesting interaction methods. As a gamer on Bartle's scale, though I shift based upon the game, I'm primarily an achiever/killer. Unfortunately, this is not the intended community for this type of game. I've read about what players can do, from opening shops to waging battle on the sea, though I did not get the chance to experience those. What I did get to see was the general metaphor at work behind the gameplay, primarily the constraining of all player business into casual games. Sword fights are treated like spin-off of multi-player Tetris (with the garbage blocks) as well as all other tasks. It is relatively brilliant to take the grind tasks of games and replace them with similar tasks that people will voluntarily grind out. I at first was completely clueless as to how to go on and wasn't interested in talking with everyone to find my way, so I immediately jumped into games at a local tavern. I found myself in drinking game with money on the line, not knowing the rules at all. Still, in the chat box, my opponent gracefully explained the rules, giving me a chance to run off with his money. I'm personally used to very different kinds of interactions online, one involving excessive profanity and high-pitched youngsters on Xbox Live.
In presentation, the world is abstracted to Lego-man simplicity, and that goes really well for it. The casual games' color schemes work very well to match the work it abstracts, and they've created a diverse array of outfits players can work to achieve. A big downfall, however, is the isolation of characters during their chores. Quests in other games require much team work, whereas the maintenance of a ship in travel is represented by isolated gaming that breaks players apart. For a game that clearly is intended for a slower-pace more social group, more interaction in puzzles would add a lot to the experience. It was this isolation that kept me from really exploring the social aspects of the area. Also, I didn't want to invest myself into its rules. This may be an achiever mentality, but a game's starting hour is it's audition to me. If I didn't have to pay for it, I'm not going to invest my time to learn its intricacies it's not immediately fascinating. Just playing Bejewled in a new was wasn't enough to peak my interest at the time.
The game does excellently with what it has, though. It uses a very low-tech framework and has a low file size, very encouraging traits for first time users. And, the generally relaxed gameplay is less intimidating for new users. It also allows for much easier modification of the game, a frustration expressed in Taylor's "Multiple Pleasures" and "Intentional Bodies." It also displays many of the values female gamers would have, as he laid out, as well as Baby Boomer gamers. As evidenced by my experience at the tavern, the gameplay is a fun distraction, but people are there for the interactions. One article on the Daedalus Project shows how player class is chosen, whereas here choices are limited to male/female with 2 designs for shirt and pants, and several hairstyles. This ignores the majority of players polled in their studies, appealing instead to the quiet majority of online gamers, the all-night puzzle players.