A news story that’s been popping up all day is of former world Snooker champion Neil Robertson’s addiction to video games. Some games like Dark Souls do have a strange addictive tendency with the rewarding sensation giving to a player after a long hard fought victory. I’m not a student of psychology though and this topic has been brought up enough over the years I have looked into it. My conclusion is that it’s not the video games that are addicting; it’s generally dependent on the type of person you are.
When you research the people who claim to suffer from addiction to World Of Warcraft they have generally bad social skills. They game gives them a platform to socialize without the hassle of being face to face with someone. A new-found surge of popularity can be a bit intoxicating.
In other news stories, like one from last year where a man was fired from his job and claimed he was addicted to Fallout 4, it was clear that it was just an excuse. Most well-rounded adults manage to balance work life with their hobbies and other extracurricular activities. Is Neil Robertson’s case any different? Being a professional Snooker player or any other type of athlete does come with its own challenges. Competing at anything on such a high-level calls for a lot of practice to keep your skills up. I don’t really believe it’s any different from working a job as everyone has certain responsibilities and should be able to prioritize them accordingly.
The closest I have ever come to being addicted to video games was when Fallout 3 was released. I pretty much stayed camped out on a sofa for two weeks. If I had more time I might have stayed there longer, but when Monday came around I had no trouble putting the controller down and going to work the next day. Like I stated before, I feel as if it’s more dependent on what type of person you are and not the video games. If you wanted.
Let’s discuss some of the things that seem to make people addicted to video games. The crack equivalent to video games is Candy Crush. It makes billions of dollars and every person over fifty can’t stop playing it. It’s bright, inviting, and gives you almost instant gratification. It can be downloaded to a tablet or phone and you can access it anytime.
Next is RPG video games; both online and offline. They are designed to allow players to be engrossed in a story that takes place in a large sprawling land complete with its history and lore. As I mentioned before, that cooperation and friendship on the MMO side of things can make a player want to play the game more.
This last topic might be slightly controversial as it’s simply poor parental guidance. It’s why I stopped playing Xbox, to be honest. Every online lobby seemed to be full of children from the ages of ten to fourteen years old all saying that had intercourse with our moms and calling us the N word or many other horrible things. The brain develops a lot in your youth and can be more susceptible to the compulsive habits some video games can help develop.
Probably one of the biggest things with video games like League Of Legends and Counter-Strike is their competitive nature. Think of someone who isn’t meeting their life goals in school, work, or other parts of society. To hop into a game for a few hours and winning may fulfill them enough to play for longer and longer periods of time. This success factor can also be helped by unlocking achievements/trophies which are at this point universal.
After competition, there is completionism. If you leave a task unfinished your brain will drive you crazy. In video games like Skyrim, for example, there are tons of quests. I have actually been on a quest and struggled not to go into a newly explored cave. This could be more of an obsession than an addiction. I know many people that if they beat a game that’s, the end, but for me in Horizon Zero Dawn I am still playing even after completing the main story because playing it is genuinely fun and I love being in the world the developer crafted. If it wasn’t for the extra side missions and completion bar I might play it again down the road but instead I am still working towards 100%.
Video game addiction is a scary topic, not because someone used it as an excuse to skip work or lose a pro match, but because video games are fun. If you watch a behind the scenes making of Halo the lead designer talks about how if a player has to do something every thirty seconds for about eight hours you have to make it fun to do. Most Triple-A games today strike me as bland in the gameplay or story department. I don’t want to lose the fun. I like fun a lot. We all need to take a little more responsibility now so we can have some fun later.