NYT Crossword App

by Eleanor Blum

The New York Times Crossword App is a mobile app that operates independently from other content of the New York Times to feature the daily crossword puzzles for avid fans. This app appeals to several of the pleasure stimuli discussed in Chapter 1, including: ideo-pleasure in that it keeps a log of the individual player’s scores—for example, when a user accomplishes a new record time for solving the puzzle they get a notification which allows them to see themselves improving in the app, socio-pleasure in that there is a community of avid crossword players who can compete with one another and discuss the latest puzzles, psycho-pleasure in that each week the puzzles cycle through from least challenging on Monday to most difficult on Sunday such that users improve through exposure to exceeding difficulty throughout the week and then are comforted by the return to the easiest puzzle before they get discouraged.

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