A gamer in Taiwan passed away at an Internet cafe last week, and no one noticed for a full 9 hours. Check out the story HERE. Another dies from playing Diablo III for 40 hours straight! Fuck me Dead, thats obesession, Plonkers
I'm not saying video games are like shooting heroin into your forearm. I totally get that the victims had other shite going on in their lives. But, half of you reading this know a World of Warcraft addict and experts say video game addiction is a thing. So here's the big question: Are some games intentionally designed to keep you compulsively playing, even when you're not enjoying it?
Oh, hell yes. And their methods are downright fuckin sneaky. Remember Skinner and his rats?
Imagine a rat in a cage. This is a special cage that has a bar or pedal on one wall that, when pressed, causes a little mechanism to release a food pellet into the cage. The rat is bouncing around the cage, doing whatever it is rats do, when he accidentally presses the bar and hey, fucking presto! a food pellet falls into the cage!
The operant is the behavior just prior to the reinforcer, which is the food pellet, of course. In no time at all, the rat is furiously peddling away at the bar, hoarding his pile of pellets in the corner of the cage.
Sound familiar gamers? Many of your games have "levers" you need to pull or press to get your reward. Many of the games involve collecting things and needing some sort sustinance. Many of the games keep you coming back to press that lever.
A behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future.
The danger lies in the fact that these games have become so incredibly efficient at delivering the sense of accomplishment that people used to get from their education, partner or career. We're not saying gaming will ruin the world, or that gaming addiction will be a scourge on youth the way crack ruined the inner cities in the 90s. But we may wind up with a generation of Plonkers working at the local supermarket when they had the brains and talent for so much more. They're dissatisfied with their lives because they wasted their 20s playing video games, and will escape their dissatisfaction by playing more video games. Rinse, repeat.
Do you think video game addiction is a serious problem to the point of being life threatening?