Understanding the Theory: The Games You Just Can't Quit

Whether it’s a console game or just an app, every once in awhile, you find yourself immersed in a game that you just can’t let go of. No matter how much you play it, it sticks in your mind, keeping you coming back for more even when there are other games out there demanding your attention. Sometimes it happens on a national level - remember the crazes for Candy Crush or Flappy Bird? - or it can just be a gem of a game that only a few people dedicated to gaming innovations play, but those that do are devotees.


Have you ever wondered how games manage to do this; turn normal people into those on the verge of a game addiction? If you fancy finding out how things work behind the curtain, then read on…


#1 - Games Aren’t Designed To Be Fun

Sound difficult to believe? It might, but think about it: fun is transitory. What we have a tendency to enjoy at one point might not be the same thing that makes us happy another day. We can get tired of fun; we can want to move on to something more exciting, something different.

If, however, a game developer can tap into something deeper in our psyche, then their game has the potential to be a fixture for years to come. It’s interesting to note that the driving purpose of a game is not for users to enjoy it, but for users to want to keep coming back to it. These might sound like the same thing, but they are actually activating different parts of our brains.

Some of the most popular games of all time aren’t particularly fun, but they are rewarding. Understanding how rewards work in game creation is essential to understanding the behavioral psychology that they manipulate.


#2 - At First, Games Are Highly Rewarding

The first, and perhaps most important, attraction factor to a game is that it rewards new players quickly and often. That’s why when you first begin to play a game, leveling up and obtaining rewards is incredibly simple. Perform one basic task? You level up and get a ton of XP points!


Every time we level up or receive some form of reward from the game, our brains get a shot of dopamine - the happy hormone. Even if we don’t fully understand the game or haven’t decided to play it for long, we’re still delighted by this evidence we’re apparently good at it. As the game progresses, achieving the same rewards becomes harder and harder. With Facebook games, for example, it might only take 10 XP to get to level two, but it’ll take 7,000 XP to move from level 58 to level 59. Yet we still do it, because when we reach that level up number, we get the same shot of dopamine. If anything, it’s even sweeter when we have to wait and work towards something.


#3 - When You’re Hooked, You’re A Consumer

Many games like to ease you into them gently, especially those that don’t have a purchase cost like some app games. They get you in, leveling up, training you to enjoy that dopamine rush every time something goes right.

Then comes the next stage; transforming you from a gamer into a consumer. As you progress, learn the game, and what it takes to be good at it, you’ll then be offered some dangling temptations. An example would be something along the lines of: you could keep working to improve your armor, which will take time, effort, and skill… or you could just throw a couple of dollars at the problem and have your armor be perfect in an instant.

At first, going with the paid approach often seems valid. In many ways, that’s because it is. There’s no harm in spending money on virtual goods if they help us to enjoy the game more. It’s no different to spending on a cinema ticket or paying to download a movie; it’s all about enjoyment, so there’s no harm.

Of course, the problem comes when you are deeply immersed in a game and have been playing it for so long, it throws your judgment off. Then, the in-game purchases switch from being about enhancing your experience, to being necessary. There are many games where, effectively, you have to pay to win. Developers don’t throw this at you to begin with, of course! They ease you in with the leveling up rewards, the improvements for low cost, and then hit you with bigger and bigger requests for money.

This might sound like a harmless progression. It can be, if you manage it in moderation. However, the problem comes when people find themselves buying more and more because they’re trapped in a cycle of doing so, and feel they need it to continue enjoying the game. That’s when there’s risks of game addiction, people stretching their finances as they look for online payday loans and similar products that can allow them to keep buying.

 Again, there’s nothing wrong with this in theory if you genuinely enjoy a game! You’re paying for a form of entertainment; that’s legitimate. But it’s always worth asking if you truly enjoy the game, or if you’re just used to playing it now and want to continue.


#4 - More Rewards

We’ve touched above on the importance of rewards to keeping you coming back to a game. This truly can’t be overstated.

Have you ever heard of the rat experiment, where a rat had to press a level in exchange for a morsel of food? This is a popular experiment on which game developers rely. We humans will keep pressing the lever (i.e. playing the game) if we think there’s a reward for it.

That’s why games give us trophies, buttons, badges - they’re rewards for pressing the lever over and over. Even basic games like Words With Friends will give you badges for starting a set number of games or playing a certain number of opponents.

Of course, when you press the lever enough to get your reward, you’re delighted by it. It’s this, perhaps more than anything, that keeps us going back to a game. If we have to work for something, we enjoy the rewards of it all the more. It makes us feel good; like we have achieved something… even if all we’ve done is level up, win a trophy, or suchlike on a game we enjoy.

Take Your Gaming To The Next Level

We all love to get a new game for our console or computer. After all, we can then spend hours trying to complete the new game to keep up with our buddies. However, it can feel like we are getting nowhere fast when it comes to our gaming experience. And it can feel like we are falling behind while others are progressing through the levels. However, there are some ways you can ensure you become a whiz at the game. In fact, here is how to take your gaming to the next level.


Watch a stream online

It’s always good to get some tips if you want to get further ahead with your game. After all, you might get the knowledge you need to enable you to whiz past the levels and keep up with your mates. And rather than heading to get an old school manual, a lot of people are watching people playing online now instead. After all, following their gameplay can help give you the tips you need to get through difficult levels. And it can give you a heads up of what you can expect as the game progresses. There are a lot of streams for specific games that you can watch. Just search for the game and you should be able to find ones to follow. In fact, you will find a lot on Twitch which can help you get through the game. And you never know, you might become so good that you become a streamer yourself!


Find some cheats

It can feel like failure if you do hunt down some cheats for games. After all, you can feel a real sense of achievement if you get through the game yourself. But if you want to take your gaming to the next level, you might need a few tricks to get past those challenging levels. And thankfully, there are lots of sites like I Want Cheats which have some great cheats which can get you further ahead in the game. And it can help you reach the finishing line sooner rather than later. You can find reviews for certain cheats online to make sure it’s a legitimate way to move forward with the game. And once you have completed, you might want to go back and try it without the cheat!


Team up with a buddy

You might be trying to compete with your buddies to finish the game first. But there are some games which can be more rewarding if you play alongside someone else. In fact, you are more likely to proceed and get to the next level quicker with a helping hand. And there are some easy ways to play together. For one thing, you could get them over to your house to play the games. Or you might want to play an online game together. After all, you can both play the game at the same time and communicate via your headset. You might make some new friends if you do chat in the game too which is always a bonus!

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And Youtube can be a godsend if you want to get further ahead with your game. After all, they put on gameplay of specific levels if you are stuck. Therefore, it could help you to finish that level and move on with the game by watching the video!

The Arguments Every Gamer Has Had

If you’re a gamer, there are some arguments that you will most likely have had at one time or another. It’s not uncommon for gaming sessions to get heated and disagreements to arise. And sometimes the arguments are had with non-gamers too. Read on and see if you’ve ever had these arguments yourself. If you haven't, it’s only a matter of time before you do!


Which Final Fantasy Game is the Best?

This is a classic argument, and there are many other franchises that gamers argue over endlessly too. You could just as easily replace this with ‘Which Legend of Zelda Game is the Best?’ Or ‘Which Mario Game is the Greatest?’ But Final Fantasy holds a special spot in many people’s hearts, and there have been so many of them released over the years. Many people have tried to rank the games over the years, and this task in itself often results in arguments. It seems like everyone loves a particular Final Fantasy for a very specific reason. Perhaps that’s why there will never be a consensus on this issue.


PC vs. Console Gaming

PC gamers are known for being a little snobbish when it comes to their attitudes toward console gaming. They are not particularly sympathetic towards that style of gaming because they see PCs as being the truest form of gaming. If you’re new to all this, you can learn more about PC gaming at Level Up Your Gear. But most console gamers who have a friend who sticks steadfastly to PC gaming will probably have ad the argument over which is better at some point. There are some very strong views on both sides! Sometimes, it’s best to duck out of these arguments before they get too heated.

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Isn’t Gaming Just for Kids?

This is one of those things that non-gamers say that really annoys people who love games. It’s an accusation that’s been around for as long as gaming has. And it hasn’t become any less stupid as the years have passed. Gaming is for people of all kinds of ages. So, when someone tries to claim that games are only for kids, it’s no surprise that people who are passionate gamers feel a need to argue back and defend themselves. Unfortunately, this attitude sums up the way in which many people who know nothing about gaming see gamers in general.


The Nintendo Argument

Some people love Nintendo, and other people seem to hate the company. These two factions have been arguing back and forth for a long time. And that argument doesn’t look like it’s about to end anytime soon. When the Wii U failed spectacularly a few years ago, it looked like some people had a point. And many Nintendo fans worried for the future of the company. However, the early success of the Switch has made some people question their previous assumptions about Nintendo. But you can be sure that the arguments between the people on each side won’t end because of this.

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Want To Kill Some Time? Check Out These Awesome Online Gaming Ideas

We’ve all been in situations where we’re seriously bored for periods of time. Luckily, technology makes it hard for us to stay bored for long these days. There’s been a huge growth in the gaming industry which allows us to do so many fun things whenever we have time to kill. Bearing that in mind, here are some great online gaming ideas for when you’re bored:

(Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/eC6sXt)


Run Down The Minutes With An FPS

First person shooters have long been a popular online game for this current generation. Games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Counterstrike are played by millions. What makes these games great is that they’re set up so perfectly for killing time. You can hop on a console or PC and jump straight into a Free For All or Team Deathmatch in seconds. The games only last a few minutes, and you can quit them whenever you like too. So, if you have some time to spare before you leave for work, an FPS game is a perfect choice. You can run around, shoot the enemy team, and then leave when it’s time to go to work. These games are quick to set up, and you really don’t have to think too much when playing them.


Pass The Time With Some Online Bingo

Bingo has become such a popular online game for people to play when they’re bored or just looking for some fun. Many people associate bingo with huge halls filled with middle aged women that are looking for ways to kill time with their friends. It’s often been seen as quite a boring game to play, but, times are changing. Nowadays, everyone is at it, thanks to online gaming. You can play bingo on sites like Ladbrokes Bingo and experience the game like never before. You’ll play against people all over the country, and it becomes very fun and competitive. Plus, online bingo often includes cool features that regular bingo can’t boast, like multipliers to increase the winning pot. The best thing is, you stand a chance of earning some cash when you play bingo too, making it an ideal game to play in your spare time.

(Source: https://flic.kr/p/oQ48PJ)

Melt Away The Hours With A Simulation Game

Simulation games are very popular amongst people that want to play something they can return to whenever they please. These games revolve around you simulating something that happens in the real world. A good example of this is a game like Planet Coaster where you build and manage your own theme park. It’s something that you can do whenever you like, and there’s no real way to end the game. You just keep playing and expanding your park and introducing new things, etc. There are other examples out there too like popular franchise The Sims, which was a game that essentially simulated real life. These games are perfect if you’re often left bored for hours each day and want to plug away at something.


These three ideas are all different and offer varying experiences for you. But, they’ll all kill time and help combat your boredom. 

Ultimate Updates to Give Your Gaming Setup a Boost

You've created a great gaming setup in your home, and it's your refuge at the end of a long day. But you can't help feeling that it could be better than it is. Just one or two changes could make it perfect and even good enough to share with someone else. You might already have all of the essentials, but you can always go one step further to make it even better. If you're looking to pimp your gaming setup, there are a few impressive things you can do to make a big difference. Try one of these moves to improve your experience and maybe wow your friends.


Supersize Your Screen

You haven't enjoyed gaming properly until you've done it with a huge screen. There's something about getting a cinematic experience when you're playing that nothing can beat. If you want a larger screen, you don't even need to have that much space available. There are a few options you can choose from to get your wish. The first is having a large TV or computer screen, which you could put on a stand or mount on a wall. Another option is to use a projector. One advantage of this is that you can easily put it away so that it doesn't take up too much space.

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Add Accessories to Your Console

Getting accessories for your console is often an ongoing task. You start with the essentials like controllers and headsets. Then you begin to consider other must have accessories, such as remote controls or even just different cables. Some accessories can improve your gaming by speeding things up or giving you better control. You can keep your console healthier using cooling fans or just store more games on a handy external hard drive.


Make It More Comfortable

Creating a more comfortable setup is another way to improve your gaming experience. However, it involves more than just getting a comfy gaming chair. You can also consider the other things that keep you comfortable when you're playing. For example, you might like to have a drink and some snacks within easy reach. You can have some supplies close by, perhaps in a mini fridge or just wherever you have space to put them. The level of lighting in the room might also have an effect on how comfortable you feel. You might want to get some lamps so you can be in control of how much light there is.


Add New Consoles

Of course, the ultimate way to improve your gaming setup might be to add more consoles. Everyone has their favorite, but sometimes there's a game that's not available on your preferred console. They all offer different experiences, so some days you might prefer to use one over the others. Having two or more consoles gives you options if you sometimes feel in a different mood. Of course, you'll need all the latest accessories to go with each of them.


Your gaming setup can always be better. Once you have the basics sorted out, you can continue to add to it to have more fun and keep improving!

Gaming Championships: Everything That New Gamers Should Know

Back in the early 2000’s, when gaming first became a big thing, it was simply seen as being a hobby. Because, surely, playing video games couldn’t be anything more than time-wasting, right? Actually, that’s wrong. Just like any other hobby gaming requires a specialist skillset and knowledge. Plus, it actually is good for you - gaming can relieve stress and, believe it or not, increase concentration.

Today, some of the world’s best gamers not only make money off of gaming but also compete in gaming championships. As there are now hundreds of competitive gaming events held across the world each year, has gaming become a sport? Well, because it doesn’t involve physical exertion, technically it’s not a sport. Instead, it’s been dubbed an e-sport - aka, an electronic sport.

For gaming newbies, the world of competitive gaming can be confusing. Getting your head around the fact that gaming isn’t just a hobby for geeks, but an e-sport that there are competitions held for, can be hard. To give you a better insight into what pro gaming is, below is a list of the things that you should know about this modern sport.

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Almost every game has a championship

The first thing to know is that almost every game has some sort of championship held each year. Some are national, and some are international, it depends on how big games are in certain places. All successful pro gamers tend to stick to just one game, such as World of Warcraft, and specialize in that. Think of pro gamers like athletes. Most athletes only focus on one sport to give them the best chance of being successful at it, and it’s the same with gaming.

So, if you have aspirations to become a pro gamer, it’s important to focus on just one game. Take League of Legends, for instance. If that’s your favorite game, spend as much time as you can improving your play, and learning all there is to know about the game. Use a LoL boost or rent a skilled duo queue partner and watch how they play, so that you’re able to improve your gaming.


There are big payouts for the winners

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Just like sports competitions come with big payouts for the winners, so do gaming competitions. Each gaming competition has a different prize amount, ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds. So pro-gamers have the potential to earn a good amount just from gaming. As long as they’re successful and win, that is.


There are fans

Just like regular sports have fans, so do e-sports. For this reason, the majority of e-sports events and competitions are held in arenas, and tickets to watch them live are sold. Just like some footballers are sporty kid’s heroes, some gamers, like the members of the LoL KTA team, are idolized by fans.

Gaming championships are becoming so popular that they’ve even starting to be streamed online. There are many sites online that stream live gaming events for fans to access and watch. In some countries, gaming events are even shown live on TV, like sports events are.


Today, gaming is an incredibly popular e-sport, making it a great hobby to take up.