#1 Edited by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

"An addictive and rewarding experience." "Addicting gameplay makes this a great game that everyone should play."....etc.

It kinda irks me that a game being addicting is being considered a positive trait that's a selling point for games. Yes, it's good that a game can "suck you in", though there are other, better ways to do that other than being addictive. Being a game you can play hours on end and continue playing it over and over again to the point that withdraw from it would be a chore isn't really a good thing in my book. People do it all the time, yes. I just don't think it's really a positive thing to advertise.

What irks me more is that consumers are demanding more of it. More Call of Duty level grinding, more Diablo style gaming, you get the idea. I know an influx of people are going to say, "Well, if you don't like those kinds of games, don't play them!" Thing is, I do like Call of Duty and Diablo, just in moderation. What those games do to suck the players time away is generally a fun thing, it's just I see it that players want TOO much of a good thing. They want longer, more time sucking experiences to the point where games sacrifice quality to bring it to them. Games can do more than just be a thing that sucks away your time away from your daily life. They can be rich rewarding experiences, which can suck you in without being addictive. This is why games like Call of Duty refuse to put anything new or meaningful to their games say a few small touches to the guns, perks, and killstreaks. They know they can hook you in hours on end with just the same old grind without putting anything new or innovative in them.

I'm not hating on you if you like games for being addicting. I'm also not hating on Call of Duty or Diablo even though I use them for examples. I just don't view it as a positive selling point and think there are other better selling points and ways of enhancing the experience.

Anyway, do you think it's a positive trait even though I think differently?

#2 Posted by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

"A habit forming and rewarding experience" doesn't sound as good.

#3 Posted by Deusx (1903 posts) -

Depends on what kind of outcome you get from the addiction. Most of the times no. I'm so glad someone else other than me thinks about this as a serious issue. Diablo and WoW are some of the best examples of Unethical game design. Created to addict players.

#4 Edited by cyraxible (683 posts) -

I think you're getting hung up on the nomenclature.

You also didn't really explain why it's a bad idea/detrimental to quality, just that it is. I don't get why you can't enjoy the games in the moderate amounts you claim to enjoy consuming them in?

It makes sense in a multiplayer driven mode where it's beneficial to everyone to have more players playing further away from release date, having a good grind on progression allows for that. It's not really an element in games outside of multiplayer focused games.

It couldn't be the yearly iteration on the Call of Duty series that leads to them not revamp it too much, it must be nefarious greed.

Plus it makes them money the way it is. People want CoD the way it is.

#5 Posted by Demoskinos (14583 posts) -

@shivermetimbers: You have to realize that for some people the only game they buy all year IS Call of Duty. So, if your the kind of person who only buys one or two games a year if that your going to play the crap out of it. I usually tap out after I prestige once or twice but some people keep going and going all the way to 15th prestige. Same thing with Diablo.

#6 Posted by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

@cyraxible said:

I think you're getting hung up on the nomenclature.

You also didn't really explain why it's a bad idea/detrimental to quality, just that it is. I don't get why you can't enjoy the games in the moderate amounts you claim to enjoy consuming them in?

It makes sense in a multiplayer driven mode where it's beneficial to everyone to have more players playing further away from release date, having a good grind on progression allows for that. It's not really an element in games outside of multiplayer focused games.

Thanks for the comment!

I was mostly thinking about this through a consumer angle. If I were to buy a game whose main selling point was that it's addictive, meaning that it was made to suck away huge portions of your time and make walking away from it something that's hard to do, I wouldn't consider that a game that's exactly fun or good. Whereas a game whose main selling point is its interactive story telling or innovative gameplay would be much better as a selling point to me. I'm mostly comparing apples and oranges here, you may think differently. There are multiplayer games, like Hybrid, that have chosen to do something different, which is something Call of Duty, a game that prides itself on being addictive, hasn't done.

#7 Posted by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@shivermetimbers: You have to realize that for some people the only game they buy all year IS Call of Duty. So, if your the kind of person who only buys one or two games a year if that your going to play the crap out of it. I usually tap out after I prestige once or twice but some people keep going and going all the way to 15th prestige. Same thing with Diablo.

Thanks for the comment!

My rebuttal to that would be that games can have better ways of extending their replay value than just including a grind.

#8 Edited by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

There's nothing wrong with a company making an "addictive" game. It's good for business and 99% of users. They make money and the users get their monies worth. Just because 1% take it to the extreme doesn't mean the game is bad or the company is "unethical".

You may as well just say all Free 2 Play games are the super devil of games then. Those are founded on the fact that they are a relentless grind and require addiction to get anywhere unless you want to shell out hundreds of dollars. Addiction doesn't necessarily mean a bad thing or that it will get in the way of normal life. I am addicted to nicotine, but it doesn't affect my ability to have a normal life. I was addicted FFXI, WoW, and countless other games, but I could still manage my priorities. It's just when I wanted to play a game, that was the only thing I played.

I prefer this definition of Addicted: 2. Enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.

#9 Posted by Demoskinos (14583 posts) -

@shivermetimbers said:

@Demoskinos said:

@shivermetimbers: You have to realize that for some people the only game they buy all year IS Call of Duty. So, if your the kind of person who only buys one or two games a year if that your going to play the crap out of it. I usually tap out after I prestige once or twice but some people keep going and going all the way to 15th prestige. Same thing with Diablo.

Thanks for the comment!

My rebuttal to that would be that games can have better ways of extending their replay value than just including a grind.

Well, some people enjoy grinding. And in the end quality is relative. You can ding a game on facts like technical merits such as frame rate etc but actual quality of the experience depends on the user.

#10 Posted by Galiant (2181 posts) -

I'd say "addictive" is just another way of saying that it doesn't get tiresome all that fast. That's very positive.

Any negative associations you might have would mostly have to do with people who can't control their gaming habits - at no point is that the game's fault for being well designed.

That's how I feel about it anyway.

#11 Posted by Vinny_Says (5691 posts) -

well this thread is stupid, or at the very least poorly thought out.

#12 Posted by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

I prefer this definition of Addicted: 2. Enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.

That could be another way to look at it, yes. Thanks for sharing. I'm not saying that being addictive is an all around negative thing that interferes with ones own functioning. You being addicted to nicotine or WoW may not be a bad thing overall, you're right. I just think there are better selling points than saying "I spent a lot of time and only wanted to play this game." or in your case "I was devoted to it." It doesn't say anything about particularly positive about the product other than you were devoted to it.

#13 Posted by hoossy (932 posts) -

@shivermetimbers:

I think the concern should be laid at the feet of people with an addictive personality, not the game. Anything can be addictive. Sure, games, ice cream, pizza, drugs, and sex are all well known for being 'addictive'.

But people could be addictive to drying clothes, wearing ladies underwear, eating paper... strange stuff. That's on the person, not the product.

#14 Edited by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

well this thread is stupid, or at the very least poorly thought out.

This is mostly an opinion piece, I'm not claiming that I'm right here. Or that my opinion has any merit, for that matter. I just wanted to bring something up for discussion.

#15 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

Interesting topic, though I guess it entirely depends on your own definition of an addiction and perception of addiction. Imo when reviewers praise games for being addictive they don't mean the game in question will take over your whole life, just that it stays fun and rewarding even after you play it a bunch.

#16 Edited by frankfartmouth (1016 posts) -

I don't think using the word "addictive" is bad at all. In the context of a review, it's used pretty lightly. Reviewers are entertainment writers, so they use a lot of colorful hyperbole. I've seen them also say stuff like "your girlfriend might leave you if you buy this game," etc., etc. And besides, gaming is time consuming; goes with the territory that some are going to be designed to "suck you in," like you say.

But I do agree with you that when a reviewer refers to a game as addictive, they're usually referring to little more than a bunch of tacked on level grinding or perk unlocks or stuff like that, and most of that does feel pretty empty to me. I prefer games that are more of a contained, distinct experience. So nothing wrong with it being addictive to me, or a reviewer calling it that, but I do agree that most of what is regarded as addictive, isn't.

#17 Posted by Vinny_Says (5691 posts) -

@shivermetimbers: No, it's not about being right or wrong but I feel like you haven't exactly reflected on the difference between when people say a game is addictive and actual addiction and just sort of lumped it all into one thread.

#18 Edited by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

@shivermetimbers: No, it's not about being right or wrong but I feel like you haven't exactly reflected on the difference between when people say a game is addictive and actual addiction and just sort of lumped it all into one thread.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I'm mostly reflecting on games that pride themselves on being addictive as a selling point and how consumers want more of that kind of experience. Obviously, as expected, others have different views on that. As I stated before, being addicted to something I feel isn't necessarily a bad thing, I just don't think it's a good selling point. It's like saying the main selling point of cigarettes is that they're addictive.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this. This isn't supposed to be an academic discussion, after all. I just want to hear what others have to think. I'm viewing this more as a consumer, as I said before.

#19 Posted by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

@shivermetimbers said:

@TyCobb said:

I prefer this definition of Addicted: 2. Enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.

That could be another way to look at it, yes. Thanks for sharing. I'm not saying that being addictive is an all around negative thing that interferes with ones own functioning. You being addicted to nicotine or WoW may not be a bad thing overall, you're right. I just think there are better selling points than saying "I spent a lot of time and only wanted to play this game." or in your case "I was devoted to it." It doesn't say anything about particularly positive about the product other than you were devoted to it.

But it kind of does if you think about it. Why would I be devoted to something if I didn't enjoy it and the game wasn't fun? That right there would cause any gamer to go find another game. Otherwise if you played a game that you outright hated, but continued to play it, then that would probably be more of an obsessive compulsive disorder. I know this is splitting hairs and could end up going down a cosmic bunny hole, but I think you know what I am trying to say.

Almost everyone who was "addicted" to a game could tell you why they played it all the time, what made it awesome, and why they quit. I don't see why you can't assume that if someone is willing to sink hundreds of hours into a single game that it wouldn't be a good game. It may not suit your tastes, but I can't see it being a bad game. I know a guy that all he does is play League of Legends. I thought it was a good game, but just not something I want to put my time into.

#20 Edited by Bribo (594 posts) -

I'd like to use this opportunity to remind everyone that "addicting" isn't a word.

Well, it might be - but if it is, it's a verb.