Video Game Addiction

Hogwash! That's what I say to that and yet I read a Cracked article on video game addiction and I see there is a method to the madness. Many may think that they just like games and the addiction part is simply reality and work aversion, this is partially true. A more advanced look at Behavioral Game Design at Gamasutra is referenced within the article and while it is more explanatory, it is also as dry as my MMO fund. The Cracked article is more jovial, externally referential and juvenile so you can expect it to be a better read.

Dipping into said article I can now understand the reasoning behind many design decisions on MMO's and, well, pretty much every game being made on the planet today. You are left feeling like chattel, bought and sold with every new released game. I pondered if gaming design was always so; Pac Man is definitely about repetition and reward, Space Invaders - not so much on the reward side. Like Pong it's more about overcoming adversity, even if it is computational adversity. Doom deathmatch had no ranking system, no perks, no rewards aside from killing your opponent and yet it was amazingly addictive.

Then I asked myself is anything in life not a qualifier, on some level, of this addiction process? Well there's work, but I'm definitely addicted to living in a heated house with running water and full of toys to play with. Toys that are addiction as well, they help me forget that I can't buy more expensive toys. There is information on the world and it's happenings but it's really just another carrot to keep you in the game. Stories are either about people, places or things that you want to be, go or buy or about people, places or things that you have it much better than. Sex is also a carrot and reward system, want to feel awesome for at least 30 seconds of your miserable day? Yes please!

You can apply these rules of addiction to everything, sins and virtues encompassing. It seems that life itself is an addiction, full of addictions. Gaming is no different and these methods can be applied to anything, such as webpage articles.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home