You probably all know scratch, but for those who don’t, Scratch is an online platform for kids to learn how to code, but the truth about it is: it can also be very addictive. While I was still a full-time scratcher I was also sucked into this hole, but managed to get out of it. In this article, I will share how Scratch can be addictive and how to overcome your addiction if you notice something unusual about your behavior.
At launch Scratch was a playground for anyone who didn’t know how to code to create great games without writing code. At first, kids were actually learning coding and that was great for Scratch and the kids.
But everything changed when Scratch added the community features because they ultimately wanted to attract otherwise not attracted users to the platform.
Starting with loves and favorites, this is one of the key drivers of Scratch addiction. People want to be famous, this is what drives the addiction to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Tiktok.
Loves and Favorites have now lost their previous glory, now people are manipulated, and pop-ups telling them to Love Fav and follow are everywhere. The Projects themselves may be good, but the ways people promote these projects are just not appropriate.
Games are the most bloated because of this. Some like to make a script to make the player get an upgrade when you click on the love and fav buttons tricking them to love and fav. Some geeks have even found a way to let the player follow their account for a reward in a game.
Something else to point out is that so many games are bloated with this that even projects on the trending page pick up these features, though they are made by famous scratchers who can get followers by quite literally just publishing a project.
Comments in scratch have now become very toxic and rude. A few months ago someone was asking me to f4f though just by tracking who I follow it is easy to devise that I don’t do f4f.
Also, they write nasty things like All of this was copied from someone else and only put together by you. What these people don’t know though, is that programming and Scratch are both based on stealing code, adding your spin onto it and saying that you made it.
The same scripts are used largely not because the person who made them was lame and didn’t want to make his own. But because these scripts have been so perfected over the years that they to put it simply, are the best.
Scratch is also Scratch and the name was chosen exactly because the Scratch Team wanted users to innovate already existing things. They say that they chose their name because DJs take discs and then scratch them to make the music sound different.
My point here is that no matter what the comments tell you, your project can only be judged by you and you alone. If you think it’s good enough then move on to something else, but if you think that it needs improvement, continue fine-tuning your project until you think it’s good enough for you to move on.
Follows are usually the consequences of loves and favs, there are many strategies to make someone follow you, one of which is Follow for Follow. This strategy is so old that now nobody can rely on it so they innovate.
For example, I found a strategy I called Liking, what you do here is you Love a few projects of the person you’re trying to make to follow you. You type a few friendly comments even though the projects themselves may be trash and then you wait.
After a while, like two days the person will follow you with a 70% chance which is insane. There are countless amounts of follow strategies used by Scratchers, but they don’t differentiate between a real engaged follower and a follower that will never come back to your profile.
Followers at first seem to be people who like you, but then you dread more, and you adopt the most outrageous of strategies to get more.
Loves and Favs and Follows are the main reason you become addicted to Scratch, but what takes this a step further are Studios. For those who aren’t familiar, studios are groups of projects with a certain group of people who can curate the studio.
Politics in studios are brutal, you can be demoted anytime and the only safe person is the host. Scratch studios used to be friendly places with cooperation and everything you would want in a studio. Now studios are just spam, pure spam. Most of the projects in studios are very low quality, but get loves and favs.
Many people are promoted to curate studios not because they have good projects or would help others, no they are promoted to make the studio grow faster and get featured so that it can grow even faster than before.
Many scratchers have more than 100 projects, but most of these users aren’t experienced and are very low quality. When someone like that is promoted, then they add all their projects to the studio, making the studio grow faster
What people usually do, is spam their project into a few hundred studios and watch it gain popularity even though it is complete trash (or not). Not every project in a studio is bad, but the good and quality projects just drown in the sea of low-quality cheap projects.
So now that we know that Scratch can be very addictive, you have to somehow get out of that addiction, well you’re in luck because, in this part of the article, I’ll be sharing how I overcame my addiction to Scratch and maintained a healthy relationship with the website
During my study of my studio https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/33047730 I devised that 36,8% of non-school Scratch accounts are addicted to Scratch. And since there are also student accounts that we have to take into account, one 5th of the Scratch userbase or 22.08% is addicted to Scratch. This results in a mind-blowing 24729600 addicted accounts.
If 3 of the following statements are true for you then you are probably spending too much time on Scratch(addicted).
You waste time commenting on projects, profiles or studios
You forget about real life and think about Scratch all the time
You dread becoming famous on Scratch so badly that you want to do it by any means
You waste your time by loving and favoriting other people's projects
You don't spend most of the time in the scratch editor but on the website
You want your project to be on the trending page and work only because of this
You spam everyone with f4f requests
You promote your projects by spamming studios and comment feeds
So now, What can you do about all this? How can you get rid of your Scratch addiction?
I know you won't like the thing I am about to say and I understand why, but face it; you must quit Scratch for a month, no, not for a day, not for a week, but for a month. The truth is that when I was addicted I started doing HTML and CSS and making my website so I completely forgot that Scratch even existed while everyone was still asking me for my Scratch profile which I won't share here.
It is crucial for you to focus on something else when you quit Scratch if you think that you are ready to learn HTML and CSS(How to make websites) go on and do that, but what your hobby will be has to make you forget about your scratch followers who will be roasting you for not posting something every day.
Also, check out the free HTML course on codecademy:https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-html
First of all, after you've quit Scratch for a month, ask yourself if you actually want to become famous on Scratch or if you want to continue with another language or another hobby altogether.
If you want to keep doing Scratch, keep in mind that you don't want to become addicted again. So how do you really become famous on Scratch? It's actually very simple: value quality, create quality projects and the followers will eventually come, put your project into a couple of studios and the views and followers will come themselves if the project you made is valuable.
Now I will share my own story with anyone still eager to read along this far.
Decades back in 2022 this random bloke of a kid made a scratch account by the name of MatveiCephei and started making scratch projects, most of them were bad, but there was one that was good, it was called Platformer 1.0, sadly a 1.1 version was never developed and released due to technical difficulties that the developer faced during the development and all progress was abandoned.
After releasing the 1.0 version the developers realized that you can stuff the project into like 200 studios for it to become noticed, so the dev did exactly that, in a day or two the project skyrocketed alongside two other projects. First 100 views, then 200, then 300, then 400, and then the growth slowed down, but the project still managed to get to 500 and until now even 600.
The project is my best project overall on that account so don't think it gained popularity only because I marketed it well, but this demonstrated to me how well marketing can pay out. I kind of forgot though that this works well only for quality projects, but other games don't get this kind of popularity with studio promotion.
I was starting to make two other games that were a ball roll game and a generic platformer. Then happened the best event of my life, or so I thought, someone followed me. Back then this was a very big event for me and so I wanted more, so I followed myself and let my mom follow me too.
The other followers came shortly after, seeing that people wanted to follow me, then I started releasing more games, dumping them into even more studios and people came, slowly but surely.
Now that I was addicted, I wanted the maximum number of followers possible, so I stopped making projects and used the technique described as Liking earlier in the article. I attracted a few followers this way, but fewer than if I would continue to make projects.
Finally, in February, I quit Scratch since I had started my website and little did I know that it would take me half a year to make in pure code. A website builder would've been faster, but the customizability wouldn't be there.
So this is how I let go of my addiction to scratch, and I hope with the help of this article you will too. In conclusion: you can still use Scratch, but make sure that your relationship with Scratch remains healthy. Thanks for reading:)