As video games become more accessible than ever before, the number of people addicted to gambling is increasing. A lot of people wonder, What causes video game addiction? But the answer is not so cut and dry. Recent statistics have shown that some video games are more addicting than others and that the nature of their gameplay could be to blame. The addictive properties of video games have been evaluated by the number of people who play it for more than 20 hours per week. Accumulate playing time equivalent to that of a part-time job!
For those new to an MMORPG, it stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. The principle of these games is simple. Usually, you design your own character and venture into a huge virtual world where you can meet and interact with other players. Together, you team up to complete raids, acquire new equipment, earn money, and progress towards a generally very satisfying “endgame fantasy”. The problem with this model is that it turned out to be the most addicting type of video game on our list, with 21% of gamers in the US investing more than 20 hours per week.
The main titles that dominate this genre are World of Warcraft, Runescape, Elder Scrolls and many more. But what’s important here is why they’re so addicting. MMORPGs are highly social games. Progress in the game can often be sped up by working with other players to complete quests, defeat bosses, and earn money. This level of social interaction often leads to the formation of large communities through discord as well as many friendships. Since humans are social animals, we need interaction with others. However, those who are shy or suffer from social anxiety may find it difficult to connect with the outside world.
As cliché as it sounds, with online interaction via RPGs, gamers can reinvent themselves and be whoever they want with complete anonymity and security. A common symptom of video game addiction is neglect of personal relationships. In many cases, this is in large part because gamers ignore their real friends and family in order to spend so much time playing with their friends online.
One of the main addictive characteristics of RPGs is their ability to create achievable goals and a sense of accomplishment in completing in-game tasks. Spending long hours improving skills and completing tedious tasks often pays off. through rewards that improve the quality of life in the game or increase the value of the player’s account.
Unfortunately, due to the repetitive conditioning and time investment in these games, it skews our motivation to achieve real long term goals. MMORPG junkies in particular have motivation issues, find most other activities boring, and start to fall behind in school or work. This is what earned MMORPG the top spot among the most addicting video games.
Massive online combat arenas, also known as MOBA, are some of the most played games in the world. League of Legends, a popular free-to-play MOBA, has over 115 million monthly active players. It is easy to see that with the large number of people playing, there is a great risk of video game addiction.
What attracts so many League of Legends players to begin with is the fact that the full game is completely free to play. What keeps them there is the games’ ability to cross the fine line between challenging and rewarding. Learning to play the game is difficult at first, but the satisfaction of overpowering your champion usually makes players want more. Riot games release new characters at a rate that makes it nearly impossible to catch up with new players. By the time you are satisfied with a champion, there will be almost 100 more to play.
League of Legends is also a highly competitive game. The vast majority of players spend most of their time preparing for ranked games in order to climb the ranks to reach the top ranks. Games usually last up to 30 minutes on average, which means that with such an investment of time, players have a burning desire to win. This is what also leads to long hours of play as those who enjoy the competitive environment are drawn to this game. These kinds of games play on our desire to see measurable growth. This is why addicted gamers constantly play in an attempt to improve in the game rather than the outside world.
On our list, shooters include battle royale, competitive first and third person shooters. In recent years, the battle royales have taken up this genre. It would be rare these days for a shooter not to include some form of Battle Royal game mode.
Different games in the genre have their quirks about how they appeal to the masses, the dances of Fortnite and pop culture references sweeping the playing field. Or the fast-paced, action-packed gameplay of Warzones in gamers and streamers. high level. They all have one thing in common that makes them so addicting and that is the adrenaline rush they get when they play.
As those who have played these games can understand, the format of skydiving on an island and fighting to be the last one left can be an exhilarating experience. When the playing area closes and you find yourself in a 1 on 1 situation catching fire from an enemy every time you culminate, this immersive action-movie experience is a dream come true. of a player! The ability to experience such adrenaline-pumping situations from the safety of their PC is what makes video game addicts among so many thrill seekers.
Action-adventure games are generally single-player campaign games where the player has to live through the eyes of the protagonist of the game. The experience can be compared to living a movie, especially since the development of most of the latest triple-A titles take more time and money than some Hollywood blockbusters. Some of the top rated and most played games in the genre are God of War, Uncharted 4, and The Last of Us, which are some of the best scripted games of our generation.
These highly immersive experiences are, however, closely linked to escape, a major cause of video game addiction. Many people play these games in order to get away from the stresses of life or even negative emotions and experiences that they might be having. While all is good in moderation when video games are used for excessive escape, it does lead to an inability to deal with the bigger issues they face.
By constantly running away from stress and anxieties, they cannot engage with them in a healthy way, which makes them more overwhelming. Ultimately, this exacerbates their desire to play video games to escape and the cycle of addiction continues. It is clear that video game developers do not design these games with malicious intent and they should not be vilified. An important part of treatment for video game addiction, which we will discuss later, focuses on finding methods to deal with the underlying issues that have arisen from neglecting yourself and over-playing video games.
As some of us may have already seen, puzzle games usually come in the form of incredibly addicting mobile apps, some of which boast about it as their slogan. Unlike other video games, most mobile puzzle games have a rather dishonest intention as their goals are to create a game that is deliberately addicting and then hit the user with a paywall or other microtransactions that give extra lives. , bonus levels or reduce waiting times.
These games are not particularly difficult but focus on a satisfying and rewarding victory. Matching a row of colorful candies to have them appear with a large number of dots is sometimes enough of an incentive for the user to keep going through the hundreds of levels available. The game’s design and marketing are expert at harnessing this ASMR-loving part of the brain as satisfying solutions. Ads and banners showing a very intuitive solution to a puzzle that they keep failing with an infuriating slogan like “0.1% of people can solve this!” Is enough for users to download it just to prove a point!
The most popular games of this genre, such as Candy Crush Saga, five years after its release, had received 2.7 billion downloads worldwide. Hence, it is easy to see why puzzle games are some of the most addicting on the market. Data has shown that women have a greater affinity for puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga, as at the height of the game’s success, 70% of users were women. Investigations suggest that there may be a biological predisposition to susceptibility to specific games of an addictive nature based on structural differences in male and female brains. While there isn’t enough conclusive evidence, it is good to be vigilant if we feel like we are falling into addiction.
What if I am addicted to these games?
If you think you might be playing too much video games, here are some proven methods to help you cut down on your gaming time.
Increase the barrier to entry – What we mean by increasing the barrier to entry makes it harder for us to play video games on a whim. If your console is already set up with the controller fully loaded, it’s easy to grab it and start playing. However, if the console is unplugged and stowed, it increases the effort required to play video games. This method saves us enough time to rationalize and prevent us from playing when we shouldn’t.
Find alternative activities – Play is a unique activity that offers multiple forms of stimulation. Many people play video games to interact with their friends, some play to see improvements and accomplish things in the game. Others resort to gaming at night to relax. Therefore, we should find a new activity to satisfy whatever the game does. A social activity like martial arts or a dance class. A mentally engaging activity like learning a new language or a new instrument and finally a rest activity like drawing or cooking.
Practice mindfulness – As we mentioned earlier, video game addicts often gamble to escape negative thoughts, situations or emotions. By practicing mindfulness, we can take root when these thoughts start to overwhelm us and prevent us from trying to escape. Mindfulness is the act of becoming aware of your body and thoughts in the present moment without judgment. A great way to practice this skill is through mediation, many of which are incorporated into almost all modern cognitive behavioral therapy courses used to treat substance abuse.
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