MMORPGs, or, massive multiplayer online role playing games, are becoming vaster each year. The days of single player gaming, the days of local split-screen, they’re over. Today, we have the technology to make entire worlds, and allow thousands of people to enjoy them all together at once. Players get sucked into these second worlds, and play for hours on end to earn achievements, to socialize with other people, and to progress their virtual character. Soon, players find themselves so immensed in the game that they don’t want to give it up, the game is never complete. When players reach this stage, they have become addicted.
1. MMORPGs Are A Way To Escape Reality
Many fictional worlds in these types of games are so large, so vast, that people think of them like they’re real. They have their own jobs, their own landscapes, their own economy. There is so much to do, so much to think about and learn. It’s almost as if they’re recreating reality. Over time, people learn about this new world like they did the real one, and they begin to forget about the pressures and stress of real life, at least while they’re playing. Players try to live out their in-game fantasies that they would not otherwise be able to do in real life. Even when the players are not online, the world still goes on without them, constantly changing. An experience like this is only available in an MMORPG game.
2. You Get The Experience With Thousands Of Others
These fictional worlds become even more real now that thousands of players are able to experience it together, in real time. Everything done in an MMORPG game is able to be shared or seen by everyone else. Players make friends, make in-game memories, and a separate social life is formed. Sometimes, in-game friends may replace real life friends. Players are typically less shy and more open to people in-game because they are unable to be seen or heard by the other people they are interacting with. People are more willing to be themselves, because players can block communications with certain individuals really quickly.
Some people are afraid to themselves like they would like to. In MMORPGs, there is nothing stopping them from doing so. No pressure, no after effects, and less judging. MMORPGs allow for a dramatically increased amount of social interaction among shy people.
3. Work And Satisfaction
I think it’s safe to assume that most people in life want to be successful, or at least more successful than their peers. Most people want to have a nice house, a nice car, nice belongings, and live a comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as it sounds to gain these things in real life.
This situation is quite different in an MMORPG game. If a player invests time, they will gain the reward that they desire. It’s guaranteed. The satisfaction gained from achieving things is something MMORPG games fulfill. This is where most of the time consumption from MMORPGs come in. The developers set it up to make players really want something in their game, but they make players do long, often repetitive, tasks to actually get it. Once they do finally get it, there will be something else the player will want to get. Then, something else. It’s as if it never ends.
4. The Game Never Ends
As I mentioned earlier, the fictional worlds in these games are huge. There can be thousands of thousands of things to do, and addicted players feel left out if they have not experienced something one of their in-game friends has. Players strive to get the latest and best items to give themselves a comepetitive advantage over others. Players strive to become better than their friends because it makes them feel good. The problem though, as I mentioned, is that doing these things take a very long amount of time. Tasks are usually repetitive and easy, so anyone can achieve the best as long as they put enough time in. I’m not talking about a few hours, either. I’m talking about thousands.
And as players are doing these long and repetitive tasks, developers are coming out with even more new content for players to spend time doing. Content comes out faster than the players can complete it, and they’re left doing these same things for a very long time, until they realize they’ll likely never reach the very top. But they still don’t want to stop.
5. Players Do Not Want To Quit
Eventually, players will look back and realize how much their game has been affecting their real life. They will consider quitting, but they will realize they do not want to. By the time players decide they’ve had enough, they’ll also realize how much time they’ve put into it. All the friends they have made, all the items and achievements they have earned through many hours of clicking. And they don’t want to give it up. By quitting, they will have to deal with the fact that everything that they’ve done has been a complete waste of time.
Addicted players will likely have made a lot of changes in their schedule to allow them to have more time to play their game. If the game is suddenly removed, they will be left with a lot of free time on their hands. That free time has to be filled, otherwise they will find themselves bored with nothing to do, and they will go back. They will see the game not as something bad, but rather as a time filler. They will think they did not have anything else to do anyway, so playing the game is fine. They will actually believe the game is good for them.
If you ever find yourself considering to play an MMORPG game, please do yourself a favor and avoid playing it for an unhealthy amount of time. MMORPG addiction is not something you want to have. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.