The one I go back to over and over is Cookie Clicker (orteil.dashnet.org/cookieclicker/) any time I feel like getting a watch that counts my steps or a Tesco Club Card or any other gamification device -- I play the master of gamification. Or I watch the button, 13 days in and 55, 54, 53, click! Idiot, 59, 58, 57, 56, 55, click! Idiot, 59, 58, 57....
Hints to me that the Great Filter could well be addictive and selfish behaviour transfixing the instinctive and basic aspects of our minds.
I posed this question once when I was copying and pasting a pixel to fill a line. Given a time cost of selecting & copying vs pasting, what is the optimal number of pastes before I should select and copy? What if the cost of selecting & copying is a function of the current size of the line? That is what Cookie Clicker raises, but with more kinds of "boosts" and whose costs also increase based on how many you've purchased.
Or perhaps you can also pose it in higher dimensions later (copying and pasting to make 2d squares, or even more complicated shapes).
I wonder if algorithms can be written to compete in Cookie Clicker-type games.
But also, it can be even more addictive if the game would go back to zero after a period of inactivity (like a tamagachi pet "dying" without attention, or a Flappy Bird). Maybe not going back to zero but to some lower "saved" level like Mario.
This is the kind of stuff that makes people see how high a score they can get, for no reason other than the score!
Just to see what it would look like
I also looked at the source and sped up the game by running the game loop much faster with an extra setTimeout :)
as you click away you accrue data and grant money
the data publishes real scientific discoveries as if you were the researcher and the grant money buys you grad students to click for you
"You only get one click" or something right next to the button would have been awesome.
It proves my personal theory of trust. If you create something so large and peaceful(ish) that people instinctively trust it, you can get away with anything. What if the button ran something malicious on your machine? What if it permanently deleted your account and banned that username from ever being used again? What if that button permanently banned you from reddit?
These are things no one considered, because reddit is just a big, friendly Lenny.
Put that button on 4chan. See what happens there.
And their own knowledge
> What if the button ran something malicious on your machine?
'This site attempted to download something to your computer. Download?'
> What if it permanently deleted your account and banned that username from ever being used again?
'reddit pissing off thousands of users over an april fool's joke' -> I'm guessing not
> These are things no one considered, because
It's not in flash, we know what HTML's limits are, etc etc
It's amazing how many people don't have that. Their first instinct is click oh, what have I done?