Wednesday, 22 August 2012

What kind of Gamer are you?

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?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like Diablo III, but not that much. Two hours tops for me. That's just crazy.

Bushman said...

My step kids don't want to stay the night at our house because we have satelite internet and they can't play live witout delay. So they stay at their dads and he plays with them. My wife won't put down her phone because she is too busy lining up 4 bubbles of the same color. meanwhile I wander around in my underwear, drunk wearing a dead monkey for a hat and no one notices. I think we have a problem. I know I do. The monkey has been dead for weeks! LOL

YeamieWaffles said...

Some games are definitely designed to be difficult and mind numbingly boring but you want to complete it so you'll play on no matter what which is crazy and insane in my eyes. To die after playing a video game for so long is still ridiculous though, surely it can't be too hard to just take a break? I loved the video blog by the way, I'm so glad that the world didn't end so I was able to watch it haha!


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