Psychology is a complex, daunting field of study, covering all aspects of human behavior. You need only look at some of the mind-blowing facts about psychology we’ve posted previously to grasp the complexity of the subject.
Because of this complexity, it’s all the more curious that most modern gaming generally boils down to similar psychology. Game Developer reports that it mainly comes down to a need for self-assurance and rewards, something that can definitely be found across a range of gaming genres.
Console Adventure Games
This is a broad genre for games, covering platformers, open-world titles, survival games and more. Each one generally has a goal you work towards, whether it’s one set by the game or one you make for yourself. These goals form the core of the game, giving you a psychological reason to continue playing — people like to complete goals after all.
Some games take this further, with RPG elements allowing for obvious character improvements in the form of stat numbers. Seeing these numbers go up, whether it’s through direct effort or random chance, makes your time spent on a game feel rewarding, even if said reward is relatively minor. It’s something that has been used in games, especially modern Assassin’s Creed titles.
Mobile games distil this concept down even further, offering simple challenges with constant rewards and incentives to play daily. You see this a lot in games like Candy Crush Saga, where players are given increasingly difficult levels as they progress.
This increase in difficulty also comes with a greater feeling of satisfaction when you overcome each challenge. Some games also ramp up the challenge significantly, making certain levels take longer to beat, but also making them more rewarding once you do win.
Competitive titles like Counter Strike: GO or Valorant are structured in a way that lets you play against others of a similar skill level. As you improve, you’ll go further up the ranks and be rewarded with shiny new icons and prestigious rankings.
The reward here is an obvious one: being better than other players. Even if you don’t get the same structure as a level-based platformer or arcade game, the rewards will often still come frequently if you play enough. Besting others also leads to a feeling of self-satisfaction, especially if the game makes it known that you’re better than the average player.
Online casinos unsurprisingly follow this pattern, being another take on regular casinos. Casino games come with even greater potential rewards in the form of cash pay-outs. It’s a big physiological incentive to keep playing, as the rewards are often more appealing than compared to other mobile or console titles. They also have some advantages over standard casinos, especially visually and mechanically.
A notable example of this is Slingo. Newly popularized by Foxy Games, Slingo arcades combine bingo principles with slot animations. It’s something that isn’t as easily done with physical machines, while also reinventing two traditional games into one new format. The flashy visuals make for a more rewarding gaming experience, while also offering easy to understand rules and rewards.
MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games), feature lots of ways to give constant rewards and achievements to players. This is mainly seen in MMORPGs, as they offer lots of gear, stats, and outfits to noticeably improve your characters with. Many modern titles in the genre are known as “theme parks”, due to their linear nature with simple mechanics.
MMORPGs have an extra aspect to them, compared to offline titles (and even some online ones). Since you’re playing with others, you have an easy way to show off achievements to both friends and strangers. Things like titles or rare equipment let others know what you’ve accomplished, giving an even greater feeling of success on top of actually beating certain content.
My name is Ayesha and as many of you know me as blunttherapy_by_ayesha on Instagram. I realized that Sometimes I...