Here are my thoughts.
1. The self-evident objective of the game appears to be to extend the lifetime of the button timer by pushing it
2. Some users are not especially interested in the game and will push it without much planning (and this is okay!)
3. Some users will be enamored with the game and will try to maximize their button push’s value, and the value of others by pushing it when the timer value is low.
4. This will result in a shift from statistically high timer push values to low timer push values; the statistics of button pushing will change from stochastic as it is now, to regular, organized pushing due to the cooperation of the r/thebutton community. I have illustrated this with a series of graphs, divided in to stage 1 (stochastic) and stage 2 (organized). Obviously it won’t be so clean cut, but I’m just trying to illustrate my thoughts clearly. I broke stage 1 and 2 in to 1a/1b and 2a/2b to better show the progression of behavior.
5. Stage 1a, as it is now. Most people are just pushing the button for fun, trying to get the prestige of progressively lower timer values, but the majority of people have pushed it at 60-57s. I have two graphs – the first is an approximation of the timer value vs. time, showing that it mainly hovers around 59s. The second is an approximate histogram showing the typical timer values that redditors have pushed the button at.
6. Stage 1b, as it will be in the coming days plot histogram. People are still just pushing for fun, but since there are fewer users, the button timer reaches lower values on occasion.
7. Stage 2a, as it may be several weeks from now plot histogram. There are still some casual button pushers every now and again, but the /r/thebutton community is somewhat organized, but there are still enough users that optimum button pushing is impossible. Some users have decided to push the button at a predetermined threshold, say under 20s. When it gets to 19s, several users push the button, but only 1 gets the 19s, everyone else gets 59-60s, and thus their pushes are ‘bad’, or suboptimal.
8. Stage 2b, how long may this stage be sustained – months? Years? plot histogram Now the dwindling community of non-pushers are highly organized. All users have pledged to push the button at a given timer value (maybe 10s), and even at a given point in time (e.g. May 2nd, 2015, 10:15am), ONE AT A TIME. Users have a buddy system to make sure they show up on time, and there are even a few highly dedicated users who will press it in emergency situations, if the timer gets to <5s and the pledges have failed to show up.
9. This shows what I think is a major problem serious pushers will face, which I mentioned in 7. Bad pushes will occur when several people try to hit the button at a predetermined threshold, each thinking they will be the one to get a coveted push value (e.g. 19s) but only 1 will come away with the good push, the others will be wasted at 60-59s.