FAQ: The Good and The Bad
I was recently interviewed over email over some issues centered on game-play and game addiction. I decided to include them here as they answer some of the questions I am most frequently asked about.
What evidence suggests video games and online role playing games are addictive?
60% of MMORPG players surveyed have played the game for 10 hours continuously or more.
About 5% of MMORPG players surveyed strongly agree that playing the game:
Are there positive factors to playing these games?
Yes there are, and I wish people focused on these more often:
Learning Leadership Skills
What are the primary negative factors?
MMORPGs are designed to encourage time investment and are more addictive than other less complex games. For a more detailed analysis, read through The Skinner Box.
If they are addictive, why is that so?
One theory of addiction is that people become dependent on a substance/action because it ultimately empowers them as it destroys them. For example, individuals who feel they have no control over their lives might binge eat or shop because in those moments, they can at least feel they are in control. One reason why MMORPGs might be so addictive is because they help individuals deal with a host of very common issues they might be dealing in real-life. For example:
- People with low self-esteem can become a knight or a princess and feel they can achieve something in this virtual world.
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