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Understanding Addiction-Based Game Design 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-quit-any-time-i-want-to-i-just-don't-want-to dept.
spidweb writes "The common theory is that games like World of Warcraft are addictive. But what are the exact qualities that make it so? Are there specific elements of the design that can be pulled out, distilled, and used at will to give a game drug-like properties? Is it wrong to do so? A new article at IGN RPG Vault attempts to isolates the exact qualities that go into making an addiction-based design. From the article: 'If a game uses rewards of any sort to entice you to experience highly repetitive content, you should see what it's trying to do and which of your buttons it's trying to press. If you don't mind, that's cool, but you should understand it.'"
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Understanding Addiction-Based Game Design

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  • Nothing Really New (Score:5, Informative)

    by Valen0 (325388) <valen@e[ ]m.us ['sco' in gap]> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:17AM (#28121141)

    The conclusion that this article makes are not really new. Nick Yee did similar studies on MMOG addiction with EverQuest many years ago. These were the studies that I could find:

    The Norrathian Scrolls: The Virtual Skinner Box [nickyee.com]

    Ariadne: Understanding Game Addiction [nickyee.com]

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:36AM (#28121559)

    By the same token, we can find your lardball the same way.

    I think if you actually studied the population of WoW, you'd find it heavily biased towards males... But little else. The rest of the population is probably represented pretty well.

    Now, if you want to make the case that most of the people in the world are lardballs, that's a different story.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:34AM (#28122063) Homepage Journal

    I think if you actually studied the population of WoW, you'd find it heavily biased towards males... But little else. The rest of the population is probably represented pretty well.

    For values of "probably" indistinguishable from "wishfully".

    According to the Daedalus Project, the average age of a WoW player is 28.3 years, and he (86%) spends 22.7 hours online per week. 38.3% of the players are full time students, while only 2.0% are retired.
    How about marital status? While I couldn't find any stats particularly for WoW, for MMORPGs as a whole, 64% of players are single. Even more so for men (67.4%).
    Income? The largest group of MMORPG players have no personal income, being either students, home makers or unemployed. The largest income bracket for those that DO have income is between $25,000-$39,000.

    To summarize, the demographic Median Joe in WoW is a single male, 27 years old, either a full time student or working a single low-paid job.

    (And that's including the statistics for those you know who are happily married and have six digit incomes. Subtract those, and the statistics get even worse.)

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