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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)?"

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  • (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.

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  • (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".