*“You get a cow. You can click on it. In six hours, you can click it again. Clicking earns you clicks. You can buy custom “premium” cows through micropayments (the Cow Clicker currency is called “mooney”), and you can buy your way out of the time delay by spending it. You can publish feed stories about clicking your cow, and you can click friends’ cow clicks in their feed stories. Cow Clicker is Facebook games distilled to their essence.”_ – Cow Clicker

Two aspects of Ian’s game design I appreciate:

The first is the satire. The satire gives me the permission to participate fully, spending mooney, inviting friends, shoveling manure, with a broad wink. (call me inhibited, but I’ve never been able to experiment with inviting friends to the Farmvilles of the world, too embarrassing, and given the games are unplayable without …)

The second aspect might be by accident (or not), and struck me as a negative at first. When you start the game you get 1-click. And then you’re done for the next 6 hours. This is not an engaging on ramp. What a dumb design! Alright I’ll click around a bit and see what else is on these tabs. Oh hey, some people I know are already playing, I could invite them too! And ooooh, I want the Oil Spill Cow! Okay, maybe giving me nothing else to do except explore and right this blog post was a clever on ramp.

[I tired to fit that all into 140 characters, but I wasn’t up to the editing this morning]