Are You Addicted to Video Games?

bmw633

Woodpecker
I became addicted to a video game back in Graduate School back in the early 1980’s. Some things I noticed about myself led me to quitting:

1. All I could think about was playing that game, to the point where I could not concentrate on my studies.

2. If I could not play at least every day, I became depressed.

Maybe it was my Attention Deficit Disorder, but for me, the video game was like heroin. I had an epiphany that continuing to play would cause me to flunk out of Grad School, I quit cold turkey. I was depressed for about a week, still obsessing over the game, but it gradually got better.

I was briefly married ten years ago to a woman with a 23 year old son who still lived at home and had no ambition except to play video games. He had ADD, and video games were his narcotic of choice. From the opposite end of the house he would wake me up 3am playing some game yelling at the top of his lungs about accomplishing something in that game. I would have to go ask him to pipe down. This went on about weekly. One summer , he had 3 days off from his part-time job, and he stayed in his room except for food and bathroom breaks. When I told him there was a lot of cool things to do outside of his bedroom, he acted as if he had his stuff together. His mom subsidized him, a son-husband kind of thing.

If video games are adversely affecting your ability to make things happen in the real world, maybe it is time to take a break.
 
In my opinion we live in an addiction society. That's the term I think of when I hear anyone say "consumer economy". People are made to become dependant on one thing or another. Whether it be on a substance like various drugs, alcohol, food and drink, or an activity like gambling, binging on any sort of media, browsing the net, pornography, and online games. People want some kind of feeling and the promise of it is sold to them.

Scientific and marketing research in businesses and the universities have refined the addictive properties of practically every aspect of modern society. If something is not addictive, or addictive enough, it will be combined with something else that is. Put sugar or caffeine in it. Gamify the activity. It needs more sex appeal. Make consuming the product an activity you regularly do with others. Make people feel an obligation to participate. It's not just games, it's practically everything that is sold.

Gaming has its roots in gambling. It makes sense that many video games have implemented gambling mechanics. Call it loot boxes or gacha, it's designed to drain your wallet on a game of chance. In the recent past we've introduced children to gambling with the capsule toys in grocery stores and booster packs for collectible card games. I think CCGs are essentially a gamification of baseball cards. Now it seems to be parents handing over phones for mobile games.

I highly recommend listening to this video, which is about how to design games around behavioral psychology to be addictive:


"Hello, I'm here to talk about monetization. It's 'Let's go Whaling!' It is about a summary of a huge bunch of behavioral psychology. So the tricks on on how to monetize a game well."

"I'll leave the morality of it out of the talk"

"... you can keep people in there. They have lots of things to do, stuff to operate, to progress along, and that's how you can make them spend a lot"

Hook Habit Hobby
"Hook Habit Hobby: This is a model from Dmitri Drovanov of Flaregames"
"The Hook is what gets you into the game, to try out a free-to-play game. Then you build it into a Habit that you play multiple sessions every day, and then at the end it's the Hobby phase where where people see it as one of their main hobbies and they put lots of time and resources into it"

Commit Emotionally
"By making people spend upfront they are also emotionally committing to your game"

No Spending Limit
"This is also where you get basically unlimited upper spend. There's no limit to how much you can spend"
"Let's go down into some of these more, tricks. Gachas."

Skinner Box
"People like the lottery part of it. If you want to, look up Skinner Box to know why."

Analytical Brain
"There's an excellent book about behavioral psychology called Thinking Fast and Slow"

Loss Aversion
"People are much more attached to the stuff they have"
"In games you can apply this by giving people stuff that feels is in their pocket and then threaten to take it away unless they pay up"

Habits
"a psychology book called Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. this is how we build habits"
"they become emotionally attached to that and then we set up the the next trigger"

Anchoring

Social Proof
"We are herd animals we tend to do what all the others do"
"You should have the socially accepted way of behaving in your game should be paying"
"When a clan member of theirs spend IAP money you want the whole clan to know because then that becomes the socially acceptable way of behaving"

Random, not skill
"Make sure that your games aren't too skill based"
 

02Hero

Sparrow
I was a hardcore gamer (online and offline - playing for hours on end) but lost interest in early 20s. Even now videogames are boring to me after playing for max. 1 hour. No matter what game.

I think playing can be a part of life. Board games, card games and also videogames. But if it consumes you to the point it makes you unhappy I would treat it like any other addiction and cut it out completely.

My most depressing days were when I was playing videogames for hours on end and watching pornography. Absolutely a destructive lifestyle. But for some reason I lost interest in both porn and videogames when I got in my early twenties. This also cured mostly my depressive moods.
 

FrancisK

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I think you have to make a differentiation between modern games and older cartridge or arcade games. The older games were made to challenge you, you were supposed to give it a run and die. Modern games are made for you to play through, as in immerse yourself into this silly fictional story and make you believe it's actually you in the game or at the least be invested into the character, which is pretty ridiculous if you ask me but that's what people want....to escape reality.

For me personally I'll still turn on my old NES once in a great while with friends or maybe the N64 with my sisters and play some Mario Kart. But to actually invest myself into a game, wow that's some real loser stuff right there. I think the furthest I got into that was playing Counter Strike in college but even that wasn't anywhere like what games are now.
 

Easy_C

Peacock
Never play them.

If youre over thirty (tops) you'd have a job convincing me its acceptable for a man to play them at all, with any regularity at least

I'd argue there's one good exception: in light amounts when it's a social event. Meeting up with some friends or family for a LAN event or just some playing together in the same room isn't fundamentally different from something like a card game.
 

Batman_

Kingfisher
Never play them.

If youre over thirty (tops) you'd have a job convincing me its acceptable for a man to play them at all, with any regularity at least
But watching sports on TV is okay? What about using social media or youtube, or viewing pornography? Or binge watching crappy shows on a streaming service? Or eating junk food? Because I'd say video games are roughly an equal vice to all of those.
 
I never understood addiction, no matter what to. Although I'm a fan of ARMA3 I have no issues walking away for a few months and catching a game during e.g. my vacation. Last time I played was last spring and I plan to game a bit over Christmas. People are just too bloody weak minded these days...

Learn how to say no, just because you can. Builds character and it separates the soyboys from the men.
 

Mike0060

Sparrow
I'm not addicted anymore but I've wasted at least 3000 hours easily.

But now video games just don't do it for me unless I'm playing with friends in real life.

For me, it's just been an age thing.
 

RedLagoon

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
I knew a guy who lost his house to some online game where he had to pay money to progress. All he got out of it was a virtual platinum sword or something. He also had Mario tattoos.

His wife left him too and now he's no longer around.

So yeah it can be extremely destructive if you have an addictive personality.

I used to game a lot but the games have just become so damn boring. I might play some Forza Motorsport once every blue moon but that's about it.

Online Games seem to be the worst, especially the ones where fat women play an alternative hot version of themselves.

And batman; yes all those other things you mention are also a waste of time so I don't do them either. Enough crap to deal with being a father in this insanity.
 

Cartographer

Pelican
Gold Member
Men get into hobbies and subcultures. It's what we do. But when guys act like gaming is universally normal or cool, or when a friend tries to tell me the clothing thing he bought for his little dude to run around in is "awesome", I get kind of irritated.
I don't care if a grown man wants to dress up a little guy and make him run around a tv doing things, i'm not better than you. But have some shame. It's a stupid thing to waste our time and money on and we should act like it.
 
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Cuchulainn2016

Woodpecker
I play games every evening, but I also cook dinner, watch a good film or tv show, walk the dog, read, workout and have sex with the missus (not necessarily in that order), and see no issue with that.

As long as you dont do anything to extremes, why not enjoy your leisure time doing whatever you want?

What I wouldnt waste my time doing, is going online and picking a subject, saying how I used to do something that was, in my opinion, bad. Then tell everyone how I was so weak I got addicted to it. Then tell everyone else who can enjoy that activity without being addicted that they are bad for enjoying such an evil thing.

But, Im not some holier than thou scumbag who gets feels from telling everyone how much better I am than them.
 
I knew a guy who lost his house to some online game where he had to pay money to progress. All he got out of it was a virtual platinum sword or something. He also had Mario tattoos.

His wife left him too and now he's no longer around.

So yeah it can be extremely destructive if you have an addictive personality.

I used to game a lot but the games have just become so damn boring. I might play some Forza Motorsport once every blue moon but that's about it.

Online Games seem to be the worst, especially the ones where fat women play an alternative hot version of themselves.

And batman; yes all those other things you mention are also a waste of time so I don't do them either. Enough crap to deal with being a father in this insanity.

Unlike past video games. More and more gambling and addictive mechanics have been included. There is a world of difference between classics like Baldur's Gate, Deus ex, Final fantasy, Lords of Magic.

And games with deliberately addictive mechanics that is far worse for you. Like lootboxes and Skinner boxes. Also when it is pay to win just like real gambling.

The older games were about telling epic stories and integrated them seamlessly with war gaming or somewhat simulating combat like interesting interactive puzzle.
 

El Draque

Kingfisher
Orthodox
But watching sports on TV is okay? What about using social media or youtube, or viewing pornography? Or binge watching crappy shows on a streaming service? Or eating junk food? Because I'd say video games are roughly an equal vice to all of those.

There's nothing wrong with watching some sport, as long as you're not obsessed or cucked by it.

I watch boxing regularly. I train it, and love the sport. Why is that a vice?
 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
I definitely have been spending (wasting) too much time playing video games in the pandemic. When everything closed down and many of my friends were afraid to meet up, I played games instead of reading books or working on projects.

I'm sure there was a huge increase nationwide in video games, television and pornography viewing. These can all be destructive to some extent (the latter of course being highly destructive), but there are two sides.

The other side is that I've been playing games online with audio chat and met some real friends doing so, one of whom I met up with twice over the past year. I have always enjoyed board games and card games, and an online game with friends is really just a facsimile of this. Of course, the key, like ANYTHING, is moderation, and I've found it's extremely difficult to moderate video game play.

I have always said, when I traveled abroad to real societies, I never had a single desire to play a video game or view pornography. When I'm back home in this culture, I often seek out video games (particularly during the pandemic) and was far more likely to view pornography as well, though I have tried to cut that out completely.

One thing I will never play is those games without an end (the open ended World of Warcraft types). The potential for addiction is just too large. But as an escape or a fantasy, video games are similar (though worse than) reading a sci fi novel.
 
One thing I do on occasion is rather than actually playing a game (that may take 30-60+ hours), I simply watch the cut scenes on Youtube. I realize this is not as fun, because I have not "earned the right" to see the cut scene, but it sure saves time! Lol The usual collection of cut scenes for a game takes around two or three hours to watch.

A few years ago I actually made out a list of games that I eventually want to get around to play. My favorite types are not rpg's or first person shooters, instead I like strategy games like Civ, X-Com or Masters of Orion. Or a good real time strategy game such as Command and Conquer. And so I have a list with around three dozen games that look fun.

I have a good friend who plays Civ with his teen sons and they have a great time together. I only wish we all could have such a fun family gaming experience. They are all in the same room when they play.

I plan to get my stepdaughters a Nintendo Wii because it will help them to be physically active, and better interrelate with each other. They spend far too much time on their phones, playing games or viewing social media. A Wii system with around 100 games on the hard drive sells around here for just $150.
 

Garuda

Kingfisher
I spent countless hours playing multiplayer N64 as a teen. Then one of my best buddies at the time got DDR, which was one of the few games you could get girls to play at the time.

Gaming has gone backwards in that stuff you'd unlock by beating the game or using cheat codes is now paid DLC and games are often still in beta when launched, making early buyers debuggers.

Men get into hobbies and subcultures. It's what we do. But when guys act like gaming is universally normal or cool, or when a friend tries to tell me the clothing thing he bought for his little dude to run around in is "awesome", I get kind of irritated.
I don't care if a grown man wants to dress up a little guy and make him run around a tv doing things, i'm not better than you. But have some shame. It's a stupid thing to waste our time and money on and we should act like it.

The obsession with skins is another thing I don't understand about today's gaming world.
 

El Draque

Kingfisher
Orthodox
A few years ago I actually made out a list of games that I eventually want to get around to play. My favorite types are not rpg's or first person shooters, instead I like strategy games like Civ, X-Com or Masters of Orion. Or a good real time strategy game such as Command and Conquer. And so I have a list with around three dozen games that look fun.

I'd class the likes of Civ (certainly Civ2 & 3, which were my goto back in the day) as being effectively sophisticated boardgames, distinct from what i think of as video games (first person shooters, sports simulators etc).

I used to absolutely love it back in the late 90s and early 00s. Tried to rediscover it about 2008, and bought 5 (i think). I just couldnt get into it, it seemed like the charm & simplicity had gone. Maybe it was just getting older, but i barely used it, or played any other game since.
 
I'd class the likes of Civ (certainly Civ2 & 3, which were my goto back in the day) as being effectively sophisticated boardgames, distinct from what i think of as video games (first person shooters, sports simulators etc).

I used to absolutely love it back in the late 90s and early 00s. Tried to rediscover it about 2008, and bought 5 (i think). I just couldnt get into it, it seemed like the charm & simplicity had gone. Maybe it was just getting older, but i barely used it, or played any other game since.

First person shooters like Half Life have an interesting story-line at least. As for simulators it should be avoided as much as possible save for what cannot be done in real life.

The Total War series until Shogun 2 was the pinnacle of Battlefield simulations. But has gone downhill since that game.

Why even buy sports simulators if you can play at the local pitch with a local team against another team?

Plus the EA monopoly of Sport Simulators is designed to be a Gambling Skinner Box but with no true prize at the end with said Lootboxes which they actually invented for the entire Genre:
 
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