Video games that offer a substantial multiplayer component, and that therefore create easy opportunities for comparison, are usually the most played in the course of time.
Just think to World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, just to name a few.
Why do some people seem to be addicted to these games?
The approach to a videogame, in my opinion, is healthy when you can enjoy its artistic aspects and the alternative world that offers, together with the collaboration with other players in finding the right tactics to play.
You become addicted when you search in videogames that competition, which is natural in the human being and that, for other reasons, you do not find in real life.
Transposing this sense of competition from reality to the online world alter the way of approaching to the other people in real life and causes the dependence.
There is an area of the brain called the ventral striatum, which when activated causes a feeling of pleasure.
Very often, unfortunately, this is activated just when you get a positive competition with another person.
If in real life this comparison may relate to various social factors, in the game it’s just about virtual reality and status that has been achieved online.
Endure over time this type of “unreal”comparison, therefore, activates the ventral striatum in the traditional way, by delivering the same feeling of gratification.
Then you arrive at a state where you lose sight of the basic elements of the game, you do not enjoy anymore the artistic part, but you give space only to competition.
In this sense, video games, meeting a need that you can not have in real life, cause a dependency similar to that of drugs, alcohol or sex.
The game makers take advantage of the social malaise of some people and then base their strategy on their dependence.
Unfortunately we are going in the direction that many multiplayer games are based on the acquisition of experience and the grant of performance or aesthetic distinction to those who have played more. Most have good benefits that are clearly visible to all players.
A game like World of Warcraft point markedly on this aspect.
Quit Wow now, You Can!
Just remember, take all things in moderation!