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What happens to the urge

January 19, 2010

In MMOs in particular the games are designed to make us do stuff, sometimes for a long time, to achieve some virtual goal or item. A Ysharros writes in her blog even if you are not really particularly interested in a certain achivement or activity, the game environment manages for us virtual mice to go for that virtual cheese, somewhere in the maze – and we get some satisfaction out of it.

In my work life I sometimes have to spend a fair amount of time out of the country, such as now when I am pretty much only in my home country during weekends. Being an MMO enthusiast, one thought would be that in those cases the gaming sessions when I am home would be more, longer etc to make up for that time. But instead I find that it is the other way around.

In these periods I am less inclined to run after the virtual cheese and I find gaming sessions can be even shorter or not as fun as when I can play more regularly, even though I may do the same type of activities in the games.

So I think that much the gameplay in MMOs work because they manage to condition us to play them regularly – without that there less urge to do the various activities presented to us. At least as many are created now. Being more casual friendly in the MMO world I think currently means that one need to spend less time each day, but the activities often still require some regularity to give us a virtual boost.

Categories: MMO Games
  1. January 19, 2010 at 14:26

    Absolutely. MMOs are much easier to give up than people think: just don’t log on for a few days. That may sound stupidly self-evident, but it’s… stupidly self-evident.

    The games are designed to make us want to do what they offer. I’m aware of this (and should perhaps have made said awareness clearer in my post) — I just get irked that I fall for it.

    I prefer to be aware of when I’m being manipulated, such as by advertisements, and if I go along with it I try to make it as conscious as possible. Ironically, I’ve had people tell me “Oh phooey, you don’t know how advertising manipulated you and you can’t fight it!” — so I guess that person just went right out and bought beer, cars and medications after we’d finished speaking. đŸ˜›

  2. January 20, 2010 at 01:51

    I find that with rare exception one MMO at a time isn’t enough to hold my interest. Usually I play one main MMO that I have a lot of friends in and play a string of other MMOs shorter term. Once the “new” wears off I move on. In general, I get more entertainment out of seeing the first 1/3 of an MMO than I do out of the rest of it.

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