Many facets of addicting gaming elements plague the world of gaming and there are many theories that analyze this trend in today’s societies. Gaming can be separated into multiple genres, each with their own addictive qualities. For instance, the addiction factor in World of Warcraft is the creation of an alternate reality with it’s own social interactions. The alternate reality featured in this MMORPG has spawned an entire community and culture with many participants often preferring interactions through a digital frame as compared to a real life experience. This departure from the reality to the comforting embrace of the digital is detrimental to modern day society.
In Philip Zimbardo’s “The demise of guys?” he mentions the science behind the oversaturation of digital media in our modern world. Zimbardo believes that we are entering a new era, with a “…new fear of intimacy. Intimacy means physical, emotional connection with somebody else.” This can very evidently be seen in our cell phone addiction, where upon entering a restaurant some people bury their faces in their phones, hungry for new digital media.
Mobile games and their addictive qualities aren’t as often tackled as a problem as compared with more “hardcore” games like World of Warcraft. Games on a mobile platform often have a different addictive quality as compared to the reality/alternate concept model. For mobile games, their addiction lies in a different type of social gratification. Candy Crush, one of the most addictive games on a mobile platform, follows the concept of hedonic adaptation and gambler’s fallacy. In Anthony Carboni’s video regarding the addictive qualities of Candy Crush, he states that Candy Crush uses hedonic adaptation to appeal to a gamer’s desire to win, while the gambler’s fallacy falsely appeals to a gamers skill. These two concepts combined created one of the most addictive games on the mobile market.
The combination of a fear of intimacy with the self gratification available from games like Candy Crush, often create quiet dinner settings, where diners are often absorbed in their own successes rather than try to create new ones with other people. In this matter, additive games like World of Warcraft definitely proves to be a better overall environment for gamers. World of Warcraft, gives the player a sense of community and social interaction, albeit a digital one, while games like Candy Crush breeds the idea that internal and self gratification is more appealing. Although more research is focused on the addictive qualities in MMORPG games, a bigger danger lies with the games that promote isolation.
To prevent this isolated social concept idea, it is a good idea to have dinner tables be mobile free zones, where the first one to touch their phones have to pay the bill. It’s sad to say it saves me a lot of money.