Do We Cheat in Video Games Because We Assume Everyone Else Is?

Do We Cheat in Video Games Because We Assume Everyone Else Is?

We’re back in 2014, with an article that looks into a study conducted by a research team coming out of Singapore. This specific study looks into why we cheat in video games.

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I won’t go into the specifics of the study, as the wired article does that quite well, but it is worth discussing the findings of the study. The article reevaluates the belief that it’s anonymity that makes gamers cheat in online communities, and instead finds that gamer’s responded that they more often resorted to cheating because they believed others were cheating as well. Not only that, but they also responded that if one doesn’t cheat in online communities then they are at a disadvantage. Essentially, we’re all cheating because we assume everyone is cheating, and if you’re honest you’re probably losing. What an online world we live in.

Take some time and check out the article, and the study if you have the ability to. It’s worth a view.

I know this post is a bit on the sparse side, but I promise: more content and new articles in the future! Until then, happy new years and good gaming.

Do Game Developers Need to do More to Prevent Addiction?

Published recently in Addiction and Research Theory, a paper entitled “Social responsibility in online videogaming: What should the videogame industry do?” questions whether developers of online video games should actively do more to prevent players of their games from getting addicted. Should they? Will they?

Before we delve into the content of the paper,  we should make note that video game addiction has become a growing problem over the years, grabbing many headlines and creating quite the concern. For some statistics about video game addiction, I’d advise to head over to www.techaddiction.ca for some interesting facts about this problem.

ONTO THE PAPER I SAY!

The paper has already gained notice in the press, as both the BBC and Washington Post have written articles about it:

Do video game makers owe it to players to keep them from getting addicted?

Do Online Game Developers Need to Do More to Prevent Addiction

The paper, given what we know about addiction to video games, calls for developers to decrease some of the elements in their games that cause addictive tendencies. This includes decreasing the number of long missions, decreasing the importance of doing repetitive tasks for the sake of leveling up characters (Grinding or farming), and making crazy uber-rewards for players who sink countless hours into the game. While many gamers may find these aspect of their favorite games essential, they’re often the most time consuming and addicting parts of them. Should game developers comply? Is it reasonable to be asking them to take measures to prevent addiction when video game addiction, for all intensive purposes, is financially positive?

While some of what the paper calls for seems a little far fetched, specifically taking out grinding,  some publishers have already taken steps to prevent their games from getting overly addicted. For example, Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of World of WarCraft and most of the games that will get you addicted, took out a reward in WOW for players who reached the highest level possible to prevent gamers from over doing it for the sake of obtaining this reward. Likewise, warning of over-playing have been used in numerous games in the past. Nintendo, for example, ask players to take a break from playing in several of their games if they exceed a certain number of hours in game. Similarly, games like Animal Crossing even go as far as to only allow players to do certain content during normal hours of the day, not giving players much to do during night hours. These little reminders, while easily ignored, do help to remind gamers that they need to step away from their gaming devices every once and awhile.

With gaming getting more and more intertwined with daily life, it’s only natural that more and more gaming will become addictive. You can talk with your friends, watch shows with them and even share content, so the need to remove yourself from your gaming devices is lessening. So perhaps it is up to gaming developers to at least try and make some in-game  attempt to prevent their players from over addiction. It’s not crazy, honestly; we ask our manufacturers of Alcohol to ask their consumers to not over do it. Social responsibility for their products is not asking too much of game developers. After all, a healthy gaming populace is a happy gaming populace.

If you have an opinion, please let me know! I’m very interested to learn what players of MMOs and other games that fall into what the media calls “addictive” think about this matter. Not being a MMO player, or much of an online gamer, myself I can really only take the stance of an outsider on this.