The 5 Addictive Features of Online Games (1)

If you search the Internet, I’m sure you will find many reports about people suffering and even dying because of gambling and gaming addiction. We will try to cover all topics in a simple and accessible way in this and the next articles because these are of utmost importance.

We are not trying to convince you that video games are some kind of drug and we understand that the victims may have had many problems in their lives. It is common knowledge that, for example, playing World of Warcraft can be addictive and that psychologists see gaming addiction as a serious problem.

The question is:

Are games designed to purposely cause addiction so that you keep playing even if you don’t really like the game in question?

The answer is YES!

5. The emergence of reflexes



Games have changed. In the past, the main goal of game developers was to sell the software. They didn’t care much whether a player spent 10 minutes or several hours playing and just wanted to make sure that the player enjoyed the game enough so that he could buy the next title. Now the industry is changing course and developing paid games like MMOs (multiplayer online games) among others. These need to create strategies that make players keep playing their games non-stop.

Nowadays, it is impossible to create a game with a story that will keep you in front of the screen for hours on end. This is why game mechanics have been changed so that you repeat the same actions over and over again, regardless of your own desire. Nick Yee, a renowned researcher, has called the Everquest game ‘The Vitrual Skinner Box’.

A Skinner Box, also known as an operant conditioning chamber, is an enclosed apparatus containing a bar or key that an animal can press or manipulate to obtain food or water. Skinner himself did not refer to this apparatus as a Skinner box, preferring instead the term “lever box.”

Today, the game’s design causes numerous disputes. Jonathan Blow, creator of the video game Braid, says that the Skinner Box game mechanics are a kind of exploitation. These kinds of games don’t provide any fun. They are designed to make players buy additional subscriptions even if they don’t like the games and don’t want to repeat the same actions over and over again. The Skinner Box type game mechanics keep users with a well-planned encouragement system.

How can this system work and secure players with virtual objects that do not exist in real life?


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