Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Videogames Fill Psychological Needs for Players

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-about-the-deepseated-pinata-wants dept.

Games 143

codegen writes "The CBC (among others) is reporting that researchers at the University of Rochester and Immersyve Inc. have released a study indicating that people enjoy video games because they satisfy a psychological need. The study showed that the interrelations between players in MMOGs were particularly important. From the article: 'Gamers said they felt the best about their experience when the games they played produced positive outcomes in scenarios related to the real world ... The researchers evaluated players' motivations in virtual worlds by asking four groups of people to play different games, including a genre known as massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, which some industry watchers regard as the future of video games.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (5, Insightful)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391438)

I don't know about anyone else, but I play to escape, not to feel fulfilled about anything of the real world.

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (3, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391586)

You can, and some people do, escape by digging a hole in your back yard and moving in. (The deeper, the better the escape)

Video games are more fulfilling than the hole. Better games are more fulfilling than not so good games, although we are seeing some MMOGs that are achieving a low-level, lizard-brain kind of fulfillment that is more adicting than good-for-you.

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (3, Funny)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392926)

Video games are more fulfilling than the hole.

You never played DaiKatana, did you?

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (2, Informative)

petro6 (989039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391592)

They tested other kinds of games too.
Here's the abstract [metapress.com] It's kinda saying. Folks feel good when they play video games, rather, when they feel good, while a player's needs are met while they play a game, they are likely to enjoy it more, and play more. MMO games seem to fulfill more needs and that is why they are so addictive.

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (3, Insightful)

idlemind (760102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391942)

I'll expand a little on what need I think MMOs fill. MMO games fill a need that life does not. In the MMO your character always progresses forward. It's hard to 'fail' in an MMO and even if you do you can walk away. You can't really just walk away from failures in life.

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (1)

monotony (999416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392108)

perhaps the need to escape /is/ something needed in the real world?

i personally feel a greater level of escape when i play with other people (MMO's or even just typical multiplayer). i think it makes it a more convincing experience =/

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393612)

i personally feel a greater level of escape when i play with other people (MMO's or even just typical multiplayer). i think it makes it a more convincing experience

I can only really speak about WoW, but Blizzard takes that to another level. Although you can play most of the game by yourself, it actually is better, and more emersive when you play with other people. The other classes are so complimentary. I'm thinking inparticular about the various buffs. Any class is more powerful with a fortitude buff. Any priest is better off with a mage around to give them some free water and an Intellect buff. Who is going to turn down a Mark of the Wild from a druid for some quick armor and stat point bonuses?

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392142)

I play to escape, not to feel fulfilled about anything of the real world.
If the real world is lacking for you, and video games fill that void, isn't that some sort of fulfillment?

Not just MMOGs (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392156)

It's not just MMOGs that have this fulfillment/achievement mechanic. Platformers, for years, have had "collect all 100 widgets in this level" goals. RPGs have tons of various side quests and extra missions you can do. Action and adventure games have completion scores, and the ability to replay the game under various difficulty settings.

Every gamer I know becomes obsessed with at least one of mechanics, primarily for the genre they prefer. Just beating the game often isn't enough anymore.

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (4, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393040)

Reminds me of one of the opening taglines on a Futurama episode:

"Not a substitute for human interaction."

Re:So wait, are all videogames MMOGs now? (2, Insightful)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393676)

For me, a game is an experience.

I don't know about "escaping" the reality, but I enjoy the stories in games just like I do for the stories in the movies.

Hence, games like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, and many other countless games fulfil my needs.

Duh (1, Troll)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391442)

The need is called entertainment.

Re:Duh (2, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391670)

I dont play for "entertainment" as much as I am entertained by what the game offers. Competition, strategic thinking, social aspects (MMO), and others depending on the game. I go to a movie, read, or watch TV more for pure entertainment than I do with games. Games also offer some to escape reality for a while and "let loose", which is not simple entertainment. Sometime I like a good 20 minutes of fragging before sitting down to code something for example. I am playing to zone out, relax, and not worry about whatever is looming in the near future.

Re:Duh (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391906)

I dont play for "entertainment" as much as I am entertained by what the game offers.

I don't eat for "sustenance" as much as I am sustained by what food offers.

Re:Duh (2, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392398)

What you want is called beer. It helps you relax, but it also tastes good and is good for your health. It doesn't need upgrading every nine months, either.

Re:Duh (2, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392648)

I too am entertained by what the game offers. Run around looking for "mines," gathering pelts, working on "trade skills," killing things repeatedly for hours on end. They really expect me to pay to do that? That's entertaining alright.

Doesn't it seems obvious to you? (5, Informative)

partenon (749418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391462)

... indicates that people enjoy video games because they are satisfying at a fundamental psychological level.

... but instead a sense of achievement, freedom and even social connectedness.

The draw of video games "also can be experienced as enhancing psychological wellness, at least short-term," ...
Everything in this article seems pretty obvious to me... Just put some researchers playing WoW for a week and I bet a better research would came out.

Re:Doesn't it seems obvious to you? (2, Funny)

TheChromaticOrb (931032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392136)

Everything in this article seems pretty obvious to me... Just put some researchers playing WoW for a week and I bet a better research would came out.
But that's what they did: this report was obviously written while waiting for a rezz.

Re:Doesn't it seems obvious to you? (3, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392474)

Well, indirectly it says something which everyone knows yet doesn't say ...

Gamers are looking for a sense of achievement meaning they don't actually have to achieve anthing to feel fulfilled with a game. I have noticed (personally) that when I am playing a MMORPG the game is a lot of fun until I get to the point where I see no worthwhile accomplishment left to complete; essentially, where the game has become mostly about grinding and nothing else.

Re:Doesn't it seems obvious to you? (1)

NullityTimesInfinity (1039196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393980)

The main point of the article is about the satisfaction or rewarding feeling people get after receiving an item or making a new online friend in MMORPGs, world of warcraft for example; and the psychological relationship to the 'real world'. The article is saying that the feelings you get when receiving an item for example in an mmorpgs such as wow is actually the driving force and motivation for playing it. The direction this research is going is actually intriguing from a more broad psychological sense because it makes some deeper real world implications that aren't so obvious.

Damn it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391478)

How come when I sign up for trials I never get to play MMOGs. All they ever want to do is feed me something that might kill me or put things where there not supposed to go.

This just in (5, Insightful)

indros13 (531405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391496)

People also enjoy sunshine, sexual activity, and singing in the rain. Some of these are also enjoyed in a massively multiplayer environment.

Re:This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391538)

Sexual activity in a massively multiplayer environment? Who didn't tell me about this earlier?

Re:This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392190)

Ever seen a Night Elf strip tease in WoW? Just asking.

Re:This just in (5, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391550)

People also enjoy sunshine, sexual activity, and singing in the rain. Some of these are also enjoyed in a massively multiplayer environment.
 
 
Link? :)

Re:This just in (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391668)

Link? :)
http://www.secondlife.com/ [secondlife.com] . Really. Just wander out of the nice PG areas, ask around, and...

I find it disheartening, myself.

Re:This just in (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391946)

Okay, but you asked for it though:

Loving Choice Adoption in Second Life [somethingawful.com] -- A virtual adoption agency where people wishing to sexually roleplay as children are able to meet pedophile partners.

I play videogames because... (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391574)

...well, for a few reasons I suppose.

1. They can be damned fun.
2. They continually make my brain keep working, continually trying out new tactics.
3. Many a LAN party are included in my top 10 favorite memories of my entire life.
4. There are parts of the gaming community that are fantastic and allow for great friendships to come about.
5. They provide a fun alternative to the daily grind (much like drugs)
6. They have the ABILITY to be educational
7. They provide a safe place for the dark desires that dwell within all of us to be satiated. Afterall, would you rather someone be killing people on screen, or people on the street?

As far as fulfilling some psychological need, I wouldn't put myself in that group...however, I don't dispute it either; I know many people who are anti-social, have anxiety, are overly shy, have aspergers, or various other things that prevent them from interacting properly face to face. Put them behind a WoW toon though, and suddenly they become open and talkative and friendly.

Video games to me are a fantastic form of entertainment. They are similar to reading, the difference being instead of working your imagination, they work your reasoning and reaction. They require you to part with "daily reality", however, and embrace a different world. This is most definately not a bad thing when used in moderation.

Last but not least, it serves for a way for me and my fiance to bond...granted, there are many lonely gamers out there, but for geeks and nerds who are lucky enough to have a spouse who is just as geeky and nerdy...well, playing video games with a spouse who not only wants to but EXPECTS to brings about some amazingly fun times.

Re:I play videogames because... (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391876)

I don't need any psychoanalytical reason why, I simply play video games because they are fun to play.

It's the same reason I'm involved with geocaching [mngca.org] and post "articles" and photos to my website...

Slow news day.

Re:I play videogames because... (1)

LokiSnake (795582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393688)

...
7. They provide a safe place for the dark desires that dwell within all of us to be satiated. Afterall, would you rather someone be killing people on screen, or people on the street?
...
Now turn that around for other "dark desires", like sex.

Yup, I'd rather do that in person. Afterall, would anyone have the dark desire for having sex with an AIDS carrier?

Re:I play videogames because... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393790)

I would have a dark desire for having sex with an AIDS carrier if I myself were one.

The reason is obvious (4, Insightful)

cy_a253 (713262) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391578)

We like videogames (and films and TV drama series) simply because we lead exceedingly boring lives, whether we realize it or not.

Just take this simple test: would the last 24 hours of your life make for a good season of "24"? Would anyone watch it?

Re:The reason is obvious (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391680)

Just take this simple test: would the last 24 hours of your life make for a good season of "24"?
Not all of them, unlike Jack Bauer I occasionally excrete or sleep.
Would anyone watch it?
Maybe if I had big boobs.

Re:The reason is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391814)

So, you say you're a lot like Jack Bauer, but you aspire to have big boobs? The doctors will do that for you these days.

Re:The reason is obvious (4, Funny)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392246)


Would anyone watch it?


Maybe if I had big boobs.


As the posters name is 'Rob T Firefly', I suspect that even if he did have big boobs not many would watch.

man boobs
(shudder)

Re:The reason is obvious (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392306)

Not all of them, unlike Jack Bauer I occasionally excrete or sleep.

But you've got to admit that a phone that never needs charging would be handy...

Re:The reason is obvious (2, Funny)

pregister (443318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392020)

Thats not fair. The last season of "24" didn't make for a good season of "24". And they have writers. All I have is normal stupid encounters.

Re:The reason is obvious (2, Interesting)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392060)

[...]because we lead exceedingly boring lives[...]

Speak for yourself.... life would probably be less boring if you'd go out and do something instead of sitting playing a video game in the first place!

Anyway, I'd suggest that they serve as not merely a passtime, but rather an outlet, or a release for things we can't do in waking life, because we are limited by physics, law, morals, etc. Hmmm... sound familiar? Freud believe that our dreams serve this purpose of "wish fulfillment" while we sleep. To me gaming seems identical - a way to unplug and enter a fantasy world where the mind can be temporarily freed from the hindrances of the ego and the physical world.

Re:The reason is obvious (1)

Helldesk Hound (981604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393256)

> We like videogames (and films and TV drama series) simply
> because we lead exceedingly boring lives, whether we
> realize it or not.

[camp]
Speak for yourself, Ducky.
[/camp]

Re:The reason is obvious (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393482)

Would anyone watch it?

Well, guessing most people did visit the restroom at least once in the last 24 hours, yeah, I'd say there are people who would get off on that. For proof I offer webcam-for-pay sites. And german and japanese fetish porn.

Personally, anyone who wants to watch my fatass get up and go to work, come back, fix dinner, and relax by working on one of about 20 projects scattered around my workshop and garage...needs to get off their ass and find a hobby or two. (or three, or four, or a dozen, or whatever).

Go fishing. Go hunting. Go take photos. Paint something. Build something. Brew something. Just turn of the damned tv and live a little.

Re:The reason is obvious (2, Funny)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393648)

Funny enough, some my friends and I were thinking about making a gag season of 24. It would pretty much be like a day off or normal day.

People playing solitare at work, someone going to a baseball game, another playing WoW or something for 24 hours. General stuff like that. Perhaps some sleeping and some partying. Someone gets too drunk and blacks out.

I suppose we'd have to find plot twists to make it not make sense if you skip a couple episodes to keep it in good faith with the original show.

I'm a mur-diddly-urderer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391596)

So if I play the GTA games, that means that deep down I really want to steal cars, drive fast, hire a prostitute and then kill her to get my money back when I'm finished with her?

Wouldn't that assertion seem to blow away Jack Thompson's little argument, by neatly reversing cause and effect?

Possibly, yes: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392138)

GTA & rest of the kill-'em-all games give you the possibility to safely exercise your desire to destroy. In those games, you only develop in terms of becoming a more proficient killer. In those games, being a good killer means you are good.

Games like Tetris, Civilization, Monkey Island, exercise your desire to construct / create. In those games, creating things or solutions means you are good.

Which type of games is more popular, and why? Read the newspapers, watch the evening news, and think about it.

Re:I'm a mur-diddly-urderer! (2, Funny)

The_K4 (627653) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393294)

In that case I guess I have some desire deep down to run arond in a mine field and hope I don't fine a mine and get a frowny face!

The Opposite (5, Funny)

gregtron (1009171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391606)

On top of putting in 60+ hours a week, I try to fit in 4 or 5 hours of WoW. The problem I've noticed, though, is I grind all day at work (estimate this, meet this deadline, get this much money, get promoted), then go home and grind in the WoW (sell in the AH, complete this quest, get this much gold, gain a level). I wish someone would use all this MMOG press hype to find out how to make me like work more. Maybe they could call me an Undead Mage instead of an Idustrial Planner. And I could wear a mohawk.

Re:The Opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391768)

Heh, made me smile! :)

Re: Liking Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391798)

That's because your Boss is either not a gamer, or you might have to meet clients.

It's about the timescale (2, Interesting)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391892)

On top of putting in 60+ hours a week, I try to fit in 4 or 5 hours of WoW. The problem I've noticed, though, is I grind all day at work (estimate this, meet this deadline, get this much money, get promoted), then go home and grind in the WoW (sell in the AH, complete this quest, get this much gold, gain a level). I wish someone would use all this MMOG press hype to find out how to make me like work more. Maybe they could call me an Undead Mage instead of an Idustrial Planner. And I could wear a mohawk.
It's all about the timescale. In WoW, it may take only a few hours, or days at most, to get to the next level, or finish a quest. At work, the timescale is usually much longer. It can take months to finish a project, and years to work towards your next promotion.

I imagine jobs that have more "bite sized" achievements are better. For example, some doctors get the satisfaction of treating multiple patients each day. Of course, then other things kick in. For example, if you screw up in WoW, you can just restart the quest or dungeon. If you screw up at work, it can cost you your job.

Re:It's about the timescale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391996)

If you screw up at work, it can cost you your job.

Or in some industries, your life.

Re:It's about the timescale (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392082)

Or in some industries, your life.

Oh, don't sound so pessimistic!

Those players just chose to hit the "reset" button to try again with a new character, rather than trying to salvage their current one with a large time penalty.

Leveling (4, Insightful)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392272)

It's a lot more difficult to level up at work. You usually need an enormous amount of experience to level up. Some poor saps never level up at all, not even after 20 years of grinding. Others level up quickly, not because they have the necessary experience, but because they're good buddies with the guild leader. That makes it much more frustrating than WoW.

If I got a pay raise after a week of grinding, I'd sure enjoy work a lot more.

Re:The Opposite (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392344)

Oh, come now. Work's not so far from your average D&D RPG. Most of your work colleagues will already have been slowed, with a duration of several days, and some may have been blinded or deafened as well. Your office will be under the effects of an ice storm for the first morning back. Your boss will still be an ogre several levels higher than you. But on the bright side, launching a fireball into his office will still be fun!

So what are you trying to accomplish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392412)

But I do understand the 'tron' in your nick.

Re:The Opposite (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392486)

I wish someone would use all this MMOG press hype to find out how to make me like work more.

Work is just work - it's *you*, sat at *your* desk, in *your* office, in *your* world, doing *your* job.

WoW (and any other game) is different - it's *you*, being *someone/thing else*, doing *something else*, in a *different* world.

It's an escape. Me, I'd love to be living in an Elite/Freelancer/Eve/X kind of universe, travelling through space, seeing the universe, trading, fighting, having adventures. Of course if I really was, I'd probably be scared shitless most of the time, longing for a quiet life on a nice safe planet somewhere, just like I have now...

Re:The Grind (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392772)

This is the reason I stopped playing WoW after a while, most players were simply interested in achieving higher levels or bigger stats, not actually role playing. Playing WoW I got the feeling that, after a while, all I was doing was hitting an addition button for hours on end. With paper RPG'ing I get social interaction with my peers, a rich story that I am a part of (rather than a bit player of) and we can play once a month without eating up too much time.

Some players tell me that the real content is in the raids & PVP. Well, I can jump into Team Fortress, Unreal or even Tribes to get that experience and I don't have to pay a subscription fee or hit a feed button for days and days.

The challenge I make for the WOW team (or any MMO maker) is to develop a game where players only get a single shot at an instanced zone to foreward their own adventuring. I mean, defeating a mighty dragon is an amazing feat, doing it 10 times in a row against the same dragon is very pointless and cheapens the experience.

Re:The Grind (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394226)

Playing WoW I got the feeling that, after a while, all I was doing was hitting an addition button for hours on end.

Yes, but it's a pretty spreadsheet, with multiplayer. What's not to love about that?

Just like romance novels... (0, Troll)

MatthewAnderson (1005607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391624)

...fill the psychological needs of bored housewives.

That is, all of them that haven't yet gotten addicted to WoW. ;)

Really, how much of this stuff comes as a surprise to anyone?

Different games... (4, Interesting)

sdaemon (25357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391722)

Based on my own experiences, I would say that single player games offer escapes from reality, and multi-player games fulfill psychological needs.

Reasoning? Pacman and space invaders are immersive escapes from reality. When you're sitting there controlling some pixels (or vectors if you're really old school) on a screen without interacting with anyone else around you, you have escaped our reality to enter another one for a time.

But in Counter-Strike, you can fulfill your basic psychological need to shoot annoying teenagers in the face. When the game is multi-player, it's just a disguise, an extension of the reality we live in. You interact with other real people, and kill them, or sell them blue items for gold, or zerg their base and capture their flags. It's still reality, but minus the consequences one usually faces for equivalent actions.

That's my take on it, at least.

darn, that refutes my mental image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391752)

"Justin, make sure you play your first person shooter game for at least two hours before you do your homework!"

"Aw, mom...."

People play video games to feel good (1)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391810)

In other news people drink water to stop being thirsty.

Re:People play video games to feel good (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393466)

Yeah and women eat chocolate to fill a psychological need.

Of all the things I *COULD* be... (3, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391836)

I'm a gamer.

I could be an alcoholic. I could be abusive. I could be a prick. I could be an asshole. I could be any combination of the aforementioned, or even more that I haven't mentioned.

All that said, I come home after work, turn in Counterstrike: Source (don't give me shit about 1.6!), and play for about an hour. After this my mind is at ease. I'm relaxed. I make dinner, clean the house, and a lot of the crap that I deal with during the day disappears.

There is an obvious escape from reality, and the bonus is that when you are done playing, the reality you HAD is put in the back of your mind. You're fresh off a high from 20 kills straight, or you got the high score. Your mind is happy, and happy thoughts ensue.

And the only thing I did was burn a little electricity and time. And I'm still not an asshole. Yet.

Re:Of all the things I *COULD* be... (1, Funny)

pregister (443318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392040)

And I'm still not an asshole. Yet.
Oh, yeah ya are. AWPwhore.

Re:Of all the things I *COULD* be... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392234)

LOL... that's a good one, but I'm an MP5/M4/AK kinda guy :)

The Sniper Credo... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391844)

... produced positive outcomes in scenarios related to the real world ...

It's better to be the sniper than the snipee. Less discouraging that way.

Synthetic Achievement (2, Interesting)

Disseminated (1022915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391884)

I quit EQ2 when I realized I was getting a buzz not off of the fun gameplay, the fun community, and the fun world to explore, but rather from the Virtual Accomplishements that got dispensed to me at regular intervals like a fish biscuit for the clever caged bear.

I'll go back to the genuinely fun game once I am no longer deficient in REAL accomplishments. ;-}

I think it's definately safe to say that while there would be a market for MMORPGS if they didn't tap into people's psychological deficiencies for enjoyment, they definately are built around doing just that. So many people play it like work or out of a sense of obligation or investment long after the fun has been tapped out. Just check out the forums for ANY MMO. ;-}

Re:Synthetic Achievement (4, Interesting)

adarn (582480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392222)

I've gotta agree with this assessment. What I find dangerous about gaming, RPG's in specific is how I personally have experianced displacing *MY* personal growth with my *character's* personal growth. Humans have a need for change and development and when you can satisfy that need from a character that you are associating with yourself rather than actually doing something to develop your own life.... I don't think that's such a good thing.

That being said, do with your lives whatever you see fit. It's none of my buisiness. I just personally have given up RPG's because of this realization.

Adarn

Re:Synthetic Achievement (1)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393660)

So true. I wouldn't call myself addicted to WoW, it's just the best game I've ever played and I love playing it so much. Even now, after two years of playing it, many times in a day I realize that "Wow, this is an awesome game!" and so I tell my guild how amazing WoW is, in case they have forgotten. WoW gives me what I need, and I'm not talking about games. I, like everyone else, I suspect, have a very deep need to accomplish something, to get somewhere, to develop. WoW fulfills this desire, it gives me very strong feeling of accomplishment, constantly rewarding me and reminding me that I've grown in the game. I do worry about this sometimes, sometimes when I've played all day, even though I've had so much fun and I feel like I've accomplished so much, I realize that I haven't really gotten anywhere, only changed some entries in a database somewhere. However, I shake it off, because dealing with WoW is so much easier (and so much more rewarding) than dealing with everything else. But in the back of my mind, the feeling is always there that I'm wasting my time. They've managed to build a game that I love playing and a game that makes me accomplish so much every single day, or at least feel like I have. I do believe ignorance is bliss. If I could choose to only read good news, I would. WoW makes me happy and gives me more fulfillment than I think I could ever get anywhere in the real world, so what's wrong with playing it all the time? Tomorrow I will be playing WoW all day again, hopefully finally earn that new piece of equipment I've been dreaming about. When I do, I know I will feel like it was a major achievement and I will feel really good about myself as a person, my desire to grow will be fulfilled, at least for a while. So even though I love the way I've chosen to live my life with WoW, there's still a part of me that feels like I should be growing IRL instead. But then again, like how? I am not interested in friends or family, I'm not good with other people and gave up on friendships and relationships years ago, before I even knew what an MMO was. I taught myself to play the piano and I feel good about that, but it's nothing compared to my achievements in WoW. I could try to get a good career and make that my personal goal, but I've never had a job I cared about and I can't imagine having a job I would like either. WoW makes you feel like you can fail, but you can't really, at least not if you keep putting time into it. IRL if something can reward you, you can probably fail as well, and I always play it safe with my life, never take any big chances, to avoid personal failures, so I never lose, but I never win either. In WoW, I always win.

I love games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391920)

I think it is because a good game leaves little time to think of anything else but the game at hand.

  Games provide:

  Escape from reality.
  False sense of accomplishment
  False sense of friends
  ARE FUN

The thing is, video games are TOO fun.

I wonder what the following number would be?

"Select sum(GameHours) From WowGamingHours" (The query might not be this simple:)

Can we think of this as potential lost productivity? Can you think of a better use for these peoples time?

World of Warcraft Trial Pack (1)

dino213b (949816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391972)

"Along with this FREE trial CD comes a sample trial dose of Xanax (tm). Our quality AMA-approved representatives are standing by to take your subscription order!"

I think it might be true... (2, Interesting)

jonathan_the_ninja (704301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392006)

Ever since I met my S.O., my gaming habits have slipped through the cracks in favor of her. I've just lost the desire to play games. I'm not sure what psychological need there was before that she might be filling, but I've wondered for a while if the events are related. Of course, I met her in my first semester of college, so starting college might be responsible, too. But I didn't cease gaming entirely until my second semester...

Re:I think it might be true... (1)

myz24 (256948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392228)

It'll come back. Same thing happened to me. I got married and then poof, 4 years later and I'm drooling over the new systems. I even managed to finally snag a Wii today. I've played more games in the last 4 months than I did in the 4 years prior to getting back into gaming.

The real reason is clear as crystal (1)

ToxicBanjo (905105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392036)

I can pay $50 for a game that I can play for hundreds and even thousands of hours over years. Most of which I will enjoy... except for "teh h4X0rZ".

or...
I can pay $50 to go see a couple movies at the theatre.
or...
Buy 3 or 4 new CD's, most of which will be shite music anyways.

No brainer!

Does the "no brainer" refer to yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392576)

Is that all you can think of doing for that amount of time with that amount of money?

Translation: Gamers are losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392038)

Let's face it, they are not the most well-adjusted people. Most gamers I've met exhibit all sorts of anti-social behavior in public. Games provide a means to escape reality and to retreat into their own little fantasy world, where they feel safe. Not too different from the drug culture, just with different means to the same end. I think it speaks to a larger problem of alienation in modern "post-industrial" society, which seems to be creating more people who "drop out" to "the fringe" of that society. That alienation is justified, since the "official" corporatist consumerist culture is truly revolting. Going to boring dead-end jobs, whether it's flipping burgers or sitting in a life-negating cubicle, dealing with moronic Lumberg-like bosses, then coming home and turning on the TV to be bombarded with junk culture...that's enough to make anyone want to escape!

Actually, the gaming phenomenon taps into the very same consumeristic culture that people feel alienated by, where everything (e.g. music, fashion, games) is just a product that someone is trying to convince you that you need. When the new version of a game comes out, the gamers rush out to buy it, just like the good little consumers they are supposed to be. Just look at those ridiculous lines outside stores for the PS3 launch. That was truly a sad commentary on the mentality that's becoming alarmingly pervasive. Gamers are a sad reflection of that.

Retreating into fantasy worlds is not going to make things better for society. By it's anti-social nature, it's just going to make it harder to organize the kind of collective action that's required to change things. No one's ever going to change things from their living room.

Re:Translation: Gamers are losers (1)

Disseminated (1022915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392130)

I can't believe you'd post something like that as an Anynomous Coward. How depressingly hypocritical. What you said is a little Durden-esque but largely absolutely true.

Re:Translation: Gamers are losers (0, Flamebait)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392254)

Another sad commentary. Those lines for baseball and football game tickets are lame too. Those people spending all that money for Super Bowl tickets? FUCK THEM IN THE EAR! Cocksucking anti-social sports fan cunts! I hope their dicks fall off.

Re:Translation: Gamers are losers (1)

Sesticulus (544932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392378)

Man I hate to feed the troll, but...

That's really odd. All the gamers I know are normal folks with good jobs, kids, house, no particular hang ups, etc. Perhaps it's not the gamers you are identifying, but the crowd you hang with, who just happen to be gamers.

I'm a guy in my mid 30s with a wife who is also a gamer and two well adjusted kids (who occasionally game). I have a successful business and career, I've written two books, and several magazine articles, and deal with people, very well, all day long.

A couple of nights a week, I get together with college and work friends by gaming with them. MMORPGs and network gaming is quite the opposite of anti-social, it's a great way to keep together when RL has moved us all over the country. In my small sample set, there's nobody who'd I'd consider fringe or escapist.

Re:Translation: Gamers are losers (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393188)

"No one's ever going to change things from their living room."

You obviously haven't listened to dr dre's account of his LA riots experience. It begins;

Sittin in my livin room calm and collected
Feelin mad, gotta get mine respected

You can't change anything. The best you can hopefore is some sort of revolution to swallow you up and spit you out a hero in your idealized world. This has a very slim possibilty of happening.
So I'll be headshotting 14 year olds in the mean time mmmkay?

Re:Translation: Gamers are losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394170)

...the gaming phenomenon taps into the very same consumeristic culture...

I think the word you were looking for is "consumeristical". The consumeristicalization of our times is indeed bewildering.

Significant real world benefits of Mmorgs. (5, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392206)

1) greatly improved ability to "chit chat"
2) greatly improved ability to flirt casually.
3) managing a guild of 90 members made managing a team of 22 people at work easy.
4) managing the logistics of a large guild's advancement made managing the logistics of large projects easier.
5) greatly increased confidence
6) greatly increased ability to let everyone bitch and stay above it (a "rare" quality commented on by senior management to me recently).
7) greatly increased skill with alcohol that has lead to being able to hold interesting conversations about Port and other fine drinks with afficianados. (it was a drinking guild and we get together for annual boozy fun parties and that lead to my fall from near teetotaler status).
8) led to RL buds that has led to two extra RL skiing trips (one in whistler) which lead to two 22 year old pretty blond australian girls dancing and flirting with me because I was a texan cowboy. which is funny since I'm in my 40's.

There may be more.

There were downsides.
At the height of my addiction, I let my real personal life go to hell for about 24 months. It was pretty much - work 8 hours, play 8 hours, sleep/bathe/eat in the other 8 hours. It was a magical world that did fill all my needs and then one day in 2002ish I finally got full and got back on with life. I still play 7 to 15 hours a week.

It definitely contributed to carpal tunnel (tho my job does that anyway).

It lead me to be much less idealistic and much more realistic about how many people (80%) out there are users (some purposely- more subconciously).\
It lead me to appreciate those people who are real (i'd say about 20%?).

Re:Significant real world benefits of Mmorgs. (0, Troll)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393506)

1) greatly improved ability to "chit chat"
2) greatly improved ability to flirt casually.
5) greatly increased confidence

Empirical evidence says that does not translate into RL, so I'm not sure what use it is.

Re:Significant real world benefits of Mmorgs. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393866)

Well... all I can say is that it did for me.

Re:Significant real world benefits of Mmorgs. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394006)

And I guess if you are going to say hard evidence shows that it doesn't translate into RL then it would be nice to provide a link to said hard evidence.

Re:Significant real world benefits of Mmorgs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394134)

Ok so let me see if I get this right

You *were* one of *them* but now you are a really cool party dude with great people skills & dates with the Sweedish bikini team?

See this is the crap that people who game have to put up with. People who golf 5 days a week I bet don't have to put up with that rap. Ooh and those dark and mysterious gamblers, always talking to their bookies. Fearsome. Steroid dude lifts weights 8 days a week. Well at least he looks buff, even if he did just bite the head off of a chicken. Oh and that WOW gamer, he's just lame. Everybody rips on him.

Yeah, we coulda told em that. (1)

angrycrip (1029476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392336)

When a friend of mine failed to get into any of the grad schools he applied to, his Warcraft play time went waaaay up, like to 8 hrs a day. "It's terrible because it makes you feel like you're really accomplishing something." It's been my substitute for accomplishment at some sad times, too. As for the social aspect, did they have the subjects dungeon crawl for six hours with 2 kids whose conversation consists entirely of "lawlz" and 2 farmers who don't speak at all before having [Giant Wah-Wah of Power] ninjaed? Just wonderin. And, yeah, I AM playing Warcraft in another window- just a mana break, gotta go!

Guess I'm just odd like that... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392360)

...but I enjoy games that put me in scenarios I could never see in the real world, and most of which I would never want to. Scenarios that test my ability to think quickly and make complex tactical decisions.

In other words, RTS (CoH is my current favorite) and tactical FPS.

Re:Guess I'm just odd like that... (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392830)

I normally enjoy RTSs as well, but stopped playing after AoE3. I picked up the beta for Supreme commander... I'm not sure if I'm rusty or it is simply insanely difficult. Either way; I still haven't won a skirmish.

Negative effects (1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392434)

For the most part I find video games to be an excellent escape from reality, and even an increasingly rewarding social activity (xbox live), but there were two times in my life that video games began to take a negative psychological effect on me. The first was in middle school winning Metroid, and the second was a few years ago winning the original Halo in "legendary" mode. In both instances I began to dream as though I was in the game rather than playing it, which crossed a line for me. What is interesting is that metroid, with its 2d scrolling action and 8-bit graphics was able to envelope me the same way that the obviously superior 3d environment of Halo was able to do.

This may have nothing to do with video games, and if I had been doing crossword puzzles for 6 hours a day for over a month I may have begun to dream in some kind of bizarre crossword puzzle reality, which would have been just as disturbing.

MMOGS are the future? (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392880)

"(MMO) games, which some industry watchers regard as the future of video games."

If that's the case, the industry will lose this gamer. I don't have the time, energy or interest to even look at a MMOG. I played several MUDS while attending highschool and college, but they simply do note appeal to me any more. I think there will always be a place for MMOGs, but I doubt that they are the future. Maybe that's my inner geezer speaking.

Do you mean...... (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392988)

We're all a bunch of gun toting serial killers at heart? May be they're right? If your twelve year old son is playing a Barbie dress up video game I wouldn't count on grand kids.

I'll buy it.... (1)

proc_tarry (704097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393024)

Give me the blue pill.

For me... (1)

Shaltenn (1031884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393140)

I play the game to be able to do things that I'd never be able to do in real life since they... practically never happen.

You save some random schmoe in the game and get a reward.

You can't do stuff like that reliably in real life.

I don't play games to emulate what my life is - I play games to escape from the tedium of getting up at 7 to go to work or class. Is that too much to ask?

I have needs...real needs. Science says so. (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393166)

I can't wait till they find the area of the brain which controls pwnage.

Amazing but true! (1)

real gumby (11516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393176)

I wouldn't have thought a video game could have a need, although for a player I guess is something a game might need. The question is (perhaps I should have RTFA): how do they fill it? Some people fill their need for sex with ice cream.

Certainly this is news for nerds! Had it been the players' needs being filled with video games, well, that wouldn't be very interesting would it?

Mmm indeed they do. (1)

Kagami001 (769862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393240)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play DOAX2 as soon as I get done placing this pre-order for "THE IDOLM@STER."

And they call psychology a science (1)

Bob_Guy (1044598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393338)

This study is a joke! You can't just take such a small test set and make any sort of accurate judgement. I personally know gamers that range in age from 4 to 44. How was this range represented in the 1000 test cases??

Re:And they call psychology a science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394132)

I personally know gamers that range in age from 4 to 44. How was this range represented in the 1000 test cases


25 * 4 year olds
25 * 5 year olds
25 * 6 year olds...

OT, Need suggestions for fun games (1)

G00F (241765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394118)

I know this is OT, but I am trying to find games me and my friends can play lan together.

Problem is they are not gamers, most of them have computers ~1ghz with graphics cards ~geforce 2-3. So the latest and greates games are pretty much off limits.

  • Games like diablo 2x was good for most of us. Though limit of 8 players was a damper and we have played that game to much.
  • Neverwinter nights was a desaster, I don't know how they call it multi-player. NWN2 would not be playable for anyone but me, and I doubt it's multi player is much better.
  • Sacred was just ok, a little over complex.
  • WoW would be great and wonderfull if it was a mmorpg.
  • Guild wars is a horrible multi player, more like a single player game that intertwines with others more and more as you get higher lvl.
  • Savage is pretty good actually, but some people don't like the losing, or fast paced pvp.
  • Q3 Team Arena has also been good for most part, almost as good as savage.


Anyone out there know of other multi player games? Ones that can be played in co-opt mode? RPG/action/Fantasy is best. What would be awsome is Dues Ex like game in co-opt mode. (or remember the days od Doom2, Hexen, Heritic that you could play the levels together, or pvp)

Do they even make games you can play in co-opt anymore?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?