Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by mattie_p on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the games-watch-you! dept.

siliconwafer writes: "An article in The Economist raises some interesting points about addiction to video games, drawing from psychology and sociology to describe why certain people prefer certain types of games, and why they might become addicted to them. It is suggested that to discourage addiction, game designers could have their games recognize addictive behavior and respond to it by encouraging gamers to take breaks. Do game designers have any responsibility to recognize addictive behavior, or does this responsibility fall solely on the gamer (or the gamer's parents in the case of a minor)?"

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Koen on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:22PM

    by Koen (427) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:22PM (#6613)

    Games want to be addictive (but they hate to be anthropomorphized.)

    Many game designers try to make their games as addictive as possible. I remember reading something about the techniques they use for this, like achievement systems - I'll try to dig it up later today.

    The only game I have ever seen saying 'take a break' during the loading screen was Baldur's Gate 2 (IIRC) - and then it drops you among a horde of enemies.

    Suppose this site would say "you have to wait 10 minutes to log in, because we detected you're getting addicted."

    If a game refuses to continue because the player is playing to much, the game risks to lose that player. I guess most game designers will not be willing to do something like that, and there is no way to force them to do this.

    --
    /. refugees on Usenet: comp.misc [comp.misc]
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +4  
       Insightful=2, Informative=1, Underrated=1, Total=4
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Sir Finkus on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:28PM

    by Sir Finkus (192) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:28PM (#6620) Journal

    I've noticed it in some mmorpgs, like Guild Wars. If you play longer than a few hours it will start giving you increasingly insistent messages about taking breaks. I don't think it ever kicks you off though.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by monster on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:45PM

      by monster (1260) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:45PM (#6626) Journal

      Some Nintendo games do the same. I've seen it with Super Mario Galaxy (1 & 2) and Wii Sports, and I would guess they are not the only examples.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by davester666 on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:14PM

        by davester666 (155) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:14PM (#6850)

        Except now, most mobile games and even browser-based games that are free-to-wait are explicitly designed to be addictive, to get the person to spend more and more on in-app purchases.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheLink on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:50PM

      by TheLink (332) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:50PM (#6679) Journal
      I've seen those warnings, often it's because I stay connected while doing other stuff (go for dinner, browse etc). Thing is Guild Wars 1 isn't really that addictive compared to other games - in the past years they have added stuff (titles, collections etc) for the OCD people to complete and addict themselves on, but given it's not a subscription based game, or a F2P one there really isn't as much motivation to get people hooked (they've got your money already - they only need enough players to keep playing so that maybe more other players would sign up - nobody wants to buy a dying game[1] that might get closed down soon[2]).

      I keep playing GW1 because it's fun - I don't even care that much if I lose GvG matches (I do care if I made too many silly mistakes though- and we lose as a result, but I'm fine if I did well and it wasn't me that messed up big time). It's like "bowling night" - you play, you have fun even if you get last place. For PvE I team up with other random human players just for variety. There are lots of people who take it very seriously though.

      [1] Unfortunately GW1 seems to be dying - fewer people playing because fewer people are playing (it's not that addictive after all and many left to try GW2) but there are people working together to try revive certain stuff (e.g. every day at 10pm EST they try to start Fort Aspenwood matches - and it seems to be kind of working - I've actually managed to play FA matches). And Anet does try with weekly events - AB is alive and active this week.

      [2] NCSoft shutdown City of Heroes after all, and they own Guild Wars.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by mojo chan on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:48PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:48PM (#6772)

      I heard that some EA games do this by not giving you any more turns for a few hours, but you can make an in-game purchase to continue playing. I knew they were just looking out for people's well-being, not the money grabbing bastards the media makes out.

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
    • (Score: 1) by hybristic on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:31PM

      by hybristic (10) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:31PM (#6981) Journal

      I played a game called MapleStory a long time ago, and after one hour you would get system messages that said: "You have been Mapling for X hours, take a break and come back later".

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Koen on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:56PM

    by Koen (427) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:56PM (#6640)
    --
    /. refugees on Usenet: comp.misc [comp.misc]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:03PM (#6785)

      This is why I don't enjoy video games like I used to, once I learned I was being psychologically and emotionally manipulated all the joy went out of it. It's like processed food made with monosodium glutamate, I want to keep eating it even though it's not very good.

  • (Score: 1) by mcgrew on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:23PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:23PM (#6656) Homepage Journal

    I'd answer the subject's heading with a resounding HELL, NO!

    What a dumb concept. A game designer is not responsible for your OCD. If you have OCD, stay away from games, gambling, and anything else that may trigger your illness.

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheLink on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:31PM

    by TheLink (332) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:31PM (#6666) Journal

    Many game designers try to make their games as addictive as possible

    That's the easy way out though. The problem is if too many players and creators assume addictiveness in a game is normal or a priority, or worse- the only thing to aim for.

    To me there's a big difference between wanting to keep playing a game because it's really fun, and wanting to keep playing a game because you feel compelled to- due to various psychological tricks.

    It's like the difference between eating something because it is really delicious and eating something because you feel compelled to - trained to finish everything on each plate, or feel like your efforts so far would be wasted if you didn't, or because you would fall behind if you didn't (finish that last piece of chicken breast or you won't have enough protein and lag the rest of your bodybuilder friends).

    Yes both can result in unhealthy results (overeating/playing too much), but with the first sort you are more likely to say "it was worth it". You might say it with the latter sort if the game has enough redeeming stuff, but I've played some games which really weren't fun (and stopped after not finding enough fun). There really are games which make players feel like they need to keep doing something, and players can't honestly tell you those bits are fun. There's only a little bit of fun when they complete a stage after hours/weeks of effort.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:46PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:46PM (#6674)

    >I guess most game designers will not be willing to do something like that, and there is no way to force them to do this.

    You're right. Since we don't have a society built on laws there's no possible way we could impose arbitrary requirements on any group of people.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Koen on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:36PM

      by Koen (427) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:36PM (#6719)

      >I guess most game designers will not be willing to do something like that, and there is no way to force them to do this.

      You're right. Since we don't have a society built on laws there's no possible way we could impose arbitrary requirements on any group of people.

      The laws of your country or the laws of my country?

      If it is your country, the game makers will set up shop in my country - all it takes is a colo server.

      --
      /. refugees on Usenet: comp.misc [comp.misc]
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by unimatrix on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:41PM

    by unimatrix (1983) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:41PM (#6722)

    The narrator in Stronghold would chime in "You've been playing a really long time my liege" and "How 'bout a snack my liege" if you played more than about an hour during a sitting.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:25PM (#7246)

      Any game in which the narrator calls the player "my liege" is inherently addictive for me.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:43PM (#6822)
    Dungeon keeper 2 would once in awhile tell you to take a break. Or ask if you were still alive... :P
  • (Score: 1) by mvar on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:02PM

    by mvar (2539) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:02PM (#6989)

    I remember that in BG2. "While your party members don't need to eat, remember that YOU DO"
    the first time i thought it was a joke.. 6 hours later, it made sense