5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted

zorn

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Found this article on cracked.com of all places, but its pretty interesting.

http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html

What i found most interesting was that if a game was designed so that players did Fun things to get to an end Goal, completing all of those tasks and getting 'the Prize' was LESS rewarding than if the things they had to do leading up to the Goal/Prize were boring. Just looking at vanilla minecraft, it might explain why people hold right click for hours, mining stone, to finally find that Diamond.

Also interesting is that neuroscientists citing studies done on rats are being consulted on how to create games people become addicted to enjoy.


"they had to change the mechanics of the game, so players would instead keep doing the same actions over and over and over, whether they liked it or not. So game developers turned to Skinner's techniques.
This is a big source of controversy in the world of game design right now. Braid creator Jonathan Blow said Skinnerian game mechanics are a form of "exploitation." It's not that these games can't be fun. But they're designed to keep gamers subscribing during the periods when it's not fun, locking them into a repetitive slog using Skinner's manipulative system of carefully scheduled rewards."

Thoughts?
 

zorn

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Always makes me think of WoW players who were supposedly losing their jobs, relationships, etc. just to keep playing more WoW.... and when I first saw Everquest, my first thought was... how can people have fun, doing such boring stuff over and over? Then i found myself spending hours and hours playing stupid facebook games...
 

Omicron

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As a counterpoint, may I present this column I found on massively.com a while ago?

Mind you, it's an opinion piece by one person, not scientific literature. But I thought it was a pretty interesting facet of a very large and complex issue.
 
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Hydra

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As a counterpoint, may I present this column I found on massively.com a while ago?

Mind you, it's an opinion piece by one person, not scientific literature. But I thought it was a pretty interesting facet of a very large and complex issue.
Problem with that issue is that he's desparately trying to 'prove' it's not the games by saying that some people are more succeptible to additions than others. Sure, no arguing against that. But because some people have it easier getting off cigarettes doesn't mean nicotine isn't an addictive substance.

Addictive games trigger our reward circuits. On purpose. And there's a fine line between games being 'fun' and games trying to be as addictive as possible.
 
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PeggleFrank

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I seem to have a resistance to this. Planetside 2 is good example material. There's an endless war. You can't win. You can't lose. You can only get better.

And after about 8 hours straight of playing, you can get about 100 certs (certifications). That's enough for a jump jet upgrade. So you buy that. And now you can fly higher. So you kill more people, for 8 more hours, and you get 100 certs again. But the price went up. So now you have to spend another 8 hours to get another 100 certs to get your next jumpjet upgrade. Now, you can fly incredibly high (Jetstream travel anyone?), but the next upgrade is 400 certs, instead of 200 or 100.

I got bored of the game after about half a month. I tried WoW. I got bored of it after about a week of playing. I tried EQ. Also got bored. Cookie clicker. Got bored. Minecraft. Bored.


You can see the pattern. I don't stay with games (or people) for extensive amounts of time.
 
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BanzaiBlitz

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Heh...try EVE Online. It's somehow in a different state if you "get" EVE. There is also a lot more probable social interaction at many levels. Those that know EVE understand what I mean though.

Those of us that learned to hear the siren's call never truly leave. And often go back. :p
 

PeggleFrank

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Heh...try EVE Online. It's somehow in a different state if you "get" EVE. There is also a lot more probable social interaction at many levels. Those that know EVE understand what I mean though.

Those of us that learned to hear the siren's call never truly leave. And often go back. :p
I understand your feeling, and it's completely legitimate, even though you're probably just really addicted and you don't want to say it.
 

GPuzzle

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Meh, the so called "TF2 one" doesn't really work after a one or two months. By the time I can rebuild 2fort with crates (which is around that), I'm playing the game for fun and not due to some Skinner's Box system
On the other hand, the hatconomy can be abusive in someone's wallet as much as the Steam Summer Sale.
 

DoctorOr

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What i found most interesting was that if a game was designed so that players did Fun things to get to an end Goal, completing all of those tasks and getting 'the Prize' was LESS rewarding than if the things they had to do leading up to the Goal/Prize were boring.
Yes, and this is why people who think easy games with instant rewards are "good game design" are so full of crap and proving they don't know anything on the topic. The human psyche values effort and work, not instant gratification.
 

Hydra

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Yes, and this is why people who think easy games with instant rewards are "good game design" are so full of crap and proving they don't know anything on the topic. The human psyche values effort and work, not instant gratification.

Then explain why so many people are 'addicted' to farmville?
 

Hydra

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Same reason they are addicted to slots. Time is effort. Eve has a similar design.

I don't understand why you think it's the time factor. If it was that then studying would be just as much fun as playing games. It's the reward centers that are triggered by games that cause the addictive factor. Without this stuff that takes time is just tedious. Not saying time isn't a factor (if you overfeed the reward center it goes 'numb') but it's not the cause of addiction.
 

Darth Sith

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I seem to have a resistance to this. Planetside 2 is good example material. There's an endless war. You can't win. You can't lose. You can only get better.

And after about 8 hours straight of playing, you can get about 100 certs (certifications). That's enough for a jump jet upgrade. So you buy that. And now you can fly higher. So you kill more people, for 8 more hours, and you get 100 certs again. But the price went up. So now you have to spend another 8 hours to get another 100 certs to get your next jumpjet upgrade. Now, you can fly incredibly high (Jetstream travel anyone?), but the next upgrade is 400 certs, instead of 200 or 100.

I got bored of the game after about half a month. I tried WoW. I got bored of it after about a week of playing. I tried EQ. Also got bored. Cookie clicker. Got bored. Minecraft. Bored.


You can see the pattern. I don't stay with games (or people) for extensive amounts of time.

I'm the exact same way except I played WoW and Everquest for 30 minutes and got bored. I also can't play games that makes you grind for items, I have to play new content every time I can't do the same mission over and over into I get [Item goes here].
 

Grydian2

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The only thing that got me to play wow at all is the story and I never did get very high level... I am an old vet that remembers... warcraft 1! in dos! lol anyways I liked the story but the game is lame. Its just a bunch of kids being jerks trolling people.
 

DoctorOr

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I don't understand why you think it's the time factor. If it was that then studying would be just as much fun as playing games.
I never said anything about fun. I said the human psyche values effort. If person A if given an object, and person B works for the same object, B will be feel more rewarded by its acquisition. This is unavoidable human design.

Thus, for your example, the people who value degrees, an easy degree is valued less than one that was worked for. That doesn't mean all people value degrees.