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Computer games 'use psychological ploys to keep players hooked'

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posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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A new investigation has revealed that computer games contain influential psychological devices that make some people play compulsively.




A simple technique based on a 1950s study of rats feeding themselves by pressing a lever, which encourages repeat behaviour by rewarding it at random, has effectively been adapted for use in gaming and is feared to encourage addiction. The programme, Panorama: Addicted to Games, quoted award-winning computer games designer Adrian Hon, of SixToStart, who admitted that that the technique once used on rats was now common place in computer games.

"In the 1950s scientists discovered that rats which had been trained to feed themselves by pressing a lever, would press it obsessively if the food was delivered randomly," the Daily Mail quoted him as telling BBC. "People have discovered that this works on humans as well. If you give people a lever or a button to press and give them random rewards, they will press it all the time," he said. In computer games, instead of food, players are randomly rewarded with extra lives or extra in-game features. The idea is to create a compulsion loop that keeps them wanting to play on. The technique, called the variable ratio of reinforcement (or operant conditioning) is simple but powerful and is thought to be one of the reasons people become addicted to slot machines. Hon added, "I think people don't necessarily understand how powerful some game mechanics can be. It's one thing to think "OK, I'm playing too much," but it's another to just stop playing, because some games are designed in a manner that you just don't want to leave."

He warned that more and more children and young people in particular could be affected because games are becoming much more widespread and much more powerful. Currently computer game addiction is not recognised as a medical condition but Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University's International Gaming Research Unit has warned the issue needs further investigation. He said, "People put money into alcohol and tobacco addiction maybe even gambling addiction but in gaming addiction it's kind of so new people don't see it as an important research area to look into". He added that for many people the psychological 'trick' employed by games would not be a problem but admitted that if people had a "vulnerability or susceptibility to addiction that will keep you in the game probably far in excess of what the normal person would do."


Source

ummm, Duh!! I mean don't get me wrong, it's nice that they openly confessed to the fact that this psychological technique is primarily the foundation of all computer and video games. Albiet some have better design teams than others, none the less, "Pong" (for those that remember that game) even incorporated this psychological technique, well for about a week, or maybe two it did. They have come a long way since then though.

All in all, I am pretty positive these types of psychological techniques are used abundantly throughout our everyday lives. From politicians that campaign and we vote for, to ads we see and hear on different media outlets, to the "so called" mainstream media we are forced to endure.

Perhaps there will be a day when the truth will come out and we will all discover that we have all just been rats in a never ending maze.




posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by UberL33t
 


One thing we know is science is full of rats and scum you would not believe, waiting to use any human to destroy for no reason.

The beasts run the system.

Like for instance i reckon michio kaku is like a nazi scientist, and sees humans as nothing more than to be used. But he is idolised by so many, he must laugh his socks of.
edit on 12/6/2010 by andy1033 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by UberL33t
 


There is a program on BBC 1 Panorama tonight at 8.30 GMT about it Made a thread here www.abovetopsecret.com...

But for some reason is not appearing on fire hose section
Regards



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by UberL33t
 


Well duh! they would be bloody boring to play otherwise, and i would have wasted £20-40



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:46 PM
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this in my opinion is true, i mean how many people have witnessed gamers getting aggressive when their concentration is disturbed!! they play games for hours on end! such as call of duty and world of warcraft, in many cases these games become main topics of conversation even when they arent playing.

a mere google search reveals people that have died, from lack of rest and lack of nourishment.

i amnt against gaming at all, in fact i like it but i think there should be a cut off point



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:49 PM
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So do advertisments.

Just saying.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:51 PM
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I'm ashamed to admit, I played WOW. I'm not a computer person, I hate computer games, yet as soon as I rolled an Undead Mage, (just to please my other half) it took over my life.


Well not to that extent really, but from being a non gamer to playing it two to three hours a night, everyday says somethng. The game is AMAZING


I can see how people become addicted as you want to push your character further and further up levels, getting better equipment. Oh my god, the pvp battlegrounds!!!!...Killing little gnomes with pink hair was awesome.

I had to cancel my membership due to neglecting my other half.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:59 PM
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So what exactly is bad with playing computer games?
I see all of these things in, er, well, everything, when I'm watching a good film I don't want to stop watching it, when I'm enjoying good book I don't want to stop reading it, so it's naturally going to be the same case when I'm playing a good game!
Yes, I guess in a way they can be addictive, but we live addictive lifestyles. At least when playing a game it allows me to actually interact with it and sometimes they challenge you intellectually as well. It's better than sitting around all evening blankly staring into the TV.
edit on 6/12/10 by The Empty Skies because: grammar



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by andy1033
 


Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist. He deals with Quantam Physics.

He doesn't study the human body.

But hey, why would you need to know what you're talking about? You can just hate someone because someone else told you too. Right?



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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This is BS in my eyes. Nothing can make you do something you don't want. So, if you're not in the mood playing some games, then don't. If you get addicted to a game, then because it brings you fun, or it interests you not because some study says something about psychological warfare... wake up... it is time... perhaps this is the first steüp to take your right to play computer games, a world without fun is a world without hope, and without hope, there is no Future



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by JonoEnglish
 


WoW was what I thought of when I read the OP - that model is pretty much the basis for their whole game.

You do something however many times it takes to get reward A, that lets you do something else however many times it takes to get reward B., etc, Repeat as needed - when players get most of the rewards release a new update.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:13 PM
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Well, if the present computer game companies are doing this, they're doing a very bad job, because right now with the exception of the Mass Effect series and few other games, all games are a piece of junk.

Here is a nice picture about the present games (Comparing with the past).



If you can see any true master design behind the present games (With the exception of few), think again. The designers of the past did games, the present ones are making cheap copycats with no innovation.

Present games are shiny, but "complex" as a nail and "hard" as bicycling. The present games are very boring. So if this is psyhological warfare... well, someone forgot to do his homework in this matter. Well, if the manufacturers' primary goal is to bore the audience to hell... well, they're succeeding (Same as the movies of the 21st century. Boring as hell.).
edit on 6-12-2010 by Sentinel412 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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Agree with other posters, this is a big DUH!! I'd like to see if there was a correlation between intelligence and a lack of addiction to things like this. All I know is I assessed the situation with video games a long time ago. My conclusion is the same as it was when I was 14. They are degenerate activities, which promote antisocial behavior, suck out people's creative potential, and use it for frivolous activities. I've never been addicted to a game in my life. Sure, I've enjoyed some over the years, but never, ever had some sort of true urge to play. It just seems childish and a complete waste of my time, but that's just me.

reply to post by Sentinel412
 


A one word prophecy for you!

...idiocracy.
edit on 6-12-2010 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by unityemissions

Well, partially I agree with you. But computer games are not sucking out creativity from people only from those ones whose are already dumb. Well, in that case it can't help, nor ruin anything in people's life.

I used to play with games and I used to be considered as a really creative guy. My work is also about creativity and I'm a professional in both of my jobs. So computer games are not killing creativity and I tell this to you from my personal experience. The other part, what you mentioned, it's taking much time away from people, yep. Unfortunately the present generation don't know when to stop.
edit on 6-12-2010 by Sentinel412 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:35 PM
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Next week on Panorama : shock news as we discover advertising uses psychology to make you buy sh*t you don't need.

Quick, ban everything.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Sentinel412
 


I just think there's a misunderstanding in what I meant. Sure, you can be creative in a video game, but it's wasted. There's no societal or cultural gain from it. I don't mean that playing a video game will turn a creative personality into something else, I just mean that the creativity is wasted on what I consider to be an idiotic activity.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by justwokeup
Next week on Panorama : shock news as we discover advertising uses psychology to make you buy sh*t you don't need.

That's going to be an interesting episode in Panorama. Although I'm curious what they're going to say about people with weak will. Strong willed people never buy anything after advertisement, just weaklings.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by unityemissions
reply to post by Sentinel412
 
I just think there's a misunderstanding in what I meant. Sure, you can be creative in a video game, but it's wasted. There's no societal or cultural gain from it. I don't mean that playing a video game will turn a creative personality into something else, I just mean that the creativity is wasted on what I consider to be an idiotic activity.

No, I understood you. But I learned many things from computer games, what I use perfectly in my two creative jobs. Yes, games has great disadvantages, especially stupid games what we get nowadays. But for example good adventure games are like very good interactive books. They can be relaxing, while you get very good audio visual stories (Those are my favorites).

If you know the limit, computer games are nothing more then a tool to relax.
edit on 6-12-2010 by Sentinel412 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by UberL33t
 


It is a long-standing theory of mine that these psychological tools are being used very specifically to placate the masses at a level much deeper than any Draconian use of force could ever accomplish. What these games do, particularly the larger more immersive ones like WoW, Ultima, SecondLife etc do is they take real accomplishments (which are few and far between in real life and come only as the result of genuine work, talent or sacrifice) and replace them with a never-ending stream of fake accomplishments. This is short-circuiting humanity's most primal and fundamental drives and facilitating a new kind of contented underclass.

When I was 13, I played the occasional video game (I think the original 8-bit Nintendo was the drug of choice then) but I had other aspirations that I talked about and worked towards. I went in the woods and built myself tree forts, I wrote, I learned to cook etc, and my friends were the same way. We invented board games, drew comic strips, took mile long bike rides just to see what was out there.

Today's kids (those who have been hooked in to this world) are nearly incapable of talking about anything else. School holds no interest or appeal (not that it presents any challenge either since the schools are all obsessed with passing dumbed down standardized tests). I know at least a handful of kids who can't describe what they did that week unless it's in WoW, then they can describe it (along with their electronic rewards) in exhausting detail.

I ask one of these kids what he wants to be when he grows up. 13 is the age when kids should be looking to some sort of career and even working towards acquiring some skills or knowledge associated with it. This kid has barely given it a thought. Sometimes he says "maybe something with computers." So I ask him if he is interested in learning some programming. "Not really." Maybe something more related to hardware. "It would be cool to be able to build a serious gaming rig."

This kid has no ambition beyond being able to afford a PC that can plug him into the Reward Machine. His drive to achieve has been short-cirtcuited. He can get all the neuro-chemical satisfaction of achievement from the passive, useless and meaningless act of playing a video game for 4 hours a night. Just like his dad. A whole family of good little cogs who will be exactly the kind of drones the machine wants.

And, of course, TPTB would not be content to have only the hardcore gamers hooked into the Reward Machine. The whole "Casual Gaming" category is designed to have a similar effect on a sector of the population that could see through the overt enslavement of the MMPRPGs by allowing them to casually piss away any idle time that might allow them to better themselves. These things use the same psy-ops techniques but the apparent simplicity of these games like Bejewelled (and it variations), Plants -vs- Zombies and Farmville allows them to become "time sucks" that just undermine any attempts at bettering or enriching their lives.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by Sentinel412
 


You're honestly going to compare a video game to a book? I just don't see it. Video games seem to be pretty much geared towards the lower IQ. I just can't get nearly as much intellectual stimulation from a video game as I can from a good book. I pretty much shut down when viewing television or video games. They just seem idiotic. I really don't know a better way to describe it. Sorry.



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