Why Some Games Are so Damn Addicting
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There are certain games that pull people in and never let them go. For example, Clutch did a survey of 1,570 people to get an idea of which games the people who were polled spent the most time with. The answers weren’t all that surprising. Minecraft was on top, followed by Red Dead Redemption, For Honor, Overwatch, GTA V, Fortnite, and the expected shooters like Rainbow Six Siege, and Call of Duty. But there’s more you can pick out from looking at data like that. When you think about it, some of these games seem like they’d trigger certain sorts of positive reinforcement to get people hooked.

With Minecraft, there’s a sense of creativity. Each time you play, you could be making more progress toward doing something great. You’re constantly building up a world. Each new seed could be different. You see progress around you. It’s like building with Legos. You have an idea in your head, and the game lets you keep expanding upon it. Factor in the multiplayer element, where people can join in to aid you in your endeavors, and you have something that could even become a social activity. It’s no wonder it grabs hold of people.

Other games, when you look at them, end up on addictive lists because of how they drive people. Call of Duty, For Honor, Overwatch, and Rainbow Six Siege are all about honing your skills. Even if it seems like the same experience each time to someone unfamiliar, every match can be different. You never know who you’ll face. Different installments have different maps and mechanics in a game like Call of Duty. Different teams can make a difference in games like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege. It’s about honing your skills, mastering maps, and watching the pay-offs for when you do.

With Fortnite and a game like Apex Legends, it is about the excitement. Fortnite is constantly getting new seasons that change up elements and gameplay concepts. If you don’t like what’s going on in it right now, wait a month or two. Odds are, it’ll drastically change something and maybe be more interesting. With Apex Legends, it is the element of surprise. For example, in January 2020 it seemed like Forge would be the next Legend added to the game. Then, at the end of the month, he was killed by Revenant and Revenant was revealed as the real next playable character.

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Finally, we have something like GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2. Why do these pull people in? Well, partially because they are life simulators. You might not see them as such, sure, but there are ecosystems within each one. When you go around, you get to experience a criminal or vigilante life, and explore. It’s a bit of wish fulfillment. Plus with the GTA Online and Red Dead Online multiplayer components, you have a sandbox that’s also filled with other people.

Seeing different games can make it easy to understand why people get into them. Each one has elements that rewards people for their efforts. In Minecraft, you see your world grow alone or with friends. Fortnite always has something new happening. Call of Duty or Overwatch rewards you for honing your skills. GTA V and its ilk let you live different lives. Each one offers its own kind of wish fulfillment. Who wouldn’t want that?

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Writing Team
Date: 02/04/2020

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