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Game Hooks

What is a hook in a game, and how can it be used within the context of a game? Some suggestions...
Having never blogged before and being relatively new to the concept and a little shy, I figured I would get my feet wet by passing on class discussion topics to get me started.  I never thought that what I have to say is interesting or blogworthy for that matter, but the more I read the more I feel why not.  Well, with all that out of the way, here we go.
In class this week we were discussing game Hooks, there definition and some examples of them today.  Specifically, what is a hook in a game and how can it be used within the context of a game? Provide at least 3 different ideas and explain how they can be used.
Several classmates started off by defining a "hook" as a feature that draws in the players or buyers.  But I also think that in today's market, this hook must be unique and well published in order to gain attention.  Typically games have several hooks to get players interested, for example, enhanced multi player action, new levels, additional characters and so on. 

Hooks are there to expand the user base from the typical players to those who might enjoy other genres.  With this I mean that a casual gamer who plays puzzle games online might not be familiar with a game in a different genre. 

With the appropriate "hook" and advertising, they will learn that Game X in a completely different genre has puzzles as well and might prove to be interesting to the puzzle gamer market.  With this the player might try the new game out.  Hooks draw in players attention while educating on the contents of the game within the packaging.

I have also found that there are "hooks" that go completely unmentioned and are simply implied to those who find it important.  Take for instance the New Mario for Wii.  One hook in my eyes is that the game is much like the original Super Mario and that it is not 3D. 

This was not marketed specifically, but simply implied through package images and advertising.  I found it important, so I saw the hook, where others who might not find it important, don't even consider it.

All in all, the "hook" refers to a feature or enhancement in a game that is marketed or created to draw in existing player while expanding the user base to new players.

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