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The Round Table

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The Round Table

Part of The Round Table's multimedia experience

The Round Table

Hyper-addictive games and their downsides

Remember sitting down and playing Wii Sports in your living room growing up, and how you could play for maybe an hour or two before you would go back outside? Well, in recent years, the gaming industry has experienced a shift of focus on the types of games they release to ‘hyper-addictive’ games, that have captured the attention (and wallets) globally of millions of players.

Hyper-addictive games possess many qualities that aim to make them almost irresistible to players. Notable titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch 2, and Valorant present themselves as “skill-based” experiences with win-loss systems that allow players to improve across multiple different matches. This style ropes the new players in by placing them with low-skilled players, allowing players to learn and make mistakes. As they improve, so do the other players and stronger enemies begin to fuel human’s natural desire to ‘be better’.

The strategic-depth these games offer also aid in their addictive-nature; Games like League of Legends and Valorant require players to think critically, strategize, and make split-second decisions. The competitive nature of these games fuels players’ desire to improve their rankings and win matches, leading to prolonged engagement and addictive gameplay.

These games also make their profits by utilizing predatory marketing practices that further contribute to their addictive nature. They often utilize psychological hooks such as loot boxes, in-game currencies, limited-time events and collaborations, to encourage players to spend more time and money. The draw of unlocking rare items or possibly gaining a competitive edge can be irresistible to some, leading to excessive gameplay.

Live-streaming platforms, specifically Twitch, have also played a significant role in the rise of hyper-addictive games. With millions of viewers tuning in to watch their favorite streamers play games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Valorant, Twitch has created a sense of community and engagement around these titles. The platform allows players to learn strategies, witness high-level gameplay, and interact with their favorite streamers, further fueling their desire to play these addictive games.

While hyper-addictive games can be immensely enjoyable, it is crucial to recognize the potential negative impact they can have on players. Excessive gameplay can lead to issues such as decreased physical activity, social isolation, sleep disturbances, and even addiction. Game developers and players alike must be mindful of establishing a healthy balance between gaming and other aspects of life.

The surge in hyper-addictive games has permanently reshaped the gaming landscape, captivating millions worldwide with their replayability, strategic elements, competitive nature, and predatory marketing practices. Twitch, the leading live streaming platform, has played a significant role in fostering the growth of these games, creating a community and fueling players’ desire to engage with them. Overall, it is crucial for players to approach these games mindfully, maintaining a healthy balance and being aware of the potential negative consequences of excessive gameplay.

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About the Contributor
Chris Whitehead, RT Today Producer
Chris Whitehead is a junior at Middletown High School, currently in his 2nd semester of journalism. His favorite shows are Gilmore Girls, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Shameless, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. He plans to continue through journalism until his graduation and pursue it further in college. Chris’s hobbies include collecting vinyl records, going out with friends, and going out for snowy night time walks.

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