Video games are known for being addictive. However mobile are in a league of their own when it comes to addictive games. Mobile games encompass the most addictive features of modern gaming condensed down into an app you can open anywhere. If you want to know what these addictive features are and which android releases use them most, then read on.
Like most games on mobile Crossy Road is simple and satisfying. The aim of the game is to move your character across roads avoiding streams of traffic and pools of water. The game was a huge success. It acquired over 150 million downloads since 2014. Only to go on and land a collaboration with Disney creating their version 2 called Disney Crossy Road. The important distinction between this and the regular game is that users can play as their favourite Disney characters! From Toy Story’s Buzz and Woody to Mickey and friends; they have it all.
However, this has a more sombre tone than some might think as psychologists explain that this is one of the reasons the game is so addictive. Disney Crossy Road causes its users to build emotional connections with the game through nostalgia. By converting the game into a Disney wonderland it provokes fond feelings and subconscious happiness. Feelings conjured from people’s past experiences with Disney. Specialists call this the Halo Effect where our view of a product is tainted by our own personal emotional connection, in this instance through nostalgia. Ultimately, this glues many addicted users to their phones.
According to The Mindful Gamer a video game addiction treatment app, the game also uses a technique that plays on the human love of anticipation. We feel great satisfaction upon achieving an award. But what demonstrably gives greater chemical stimulation is the feeling of anticipation itself. The game bombards the user with randomness of obstacles. Iy also offers the ability to unlock random characters keeping the suspense high and anticipation even higher.
Call of Duty Mobile
Is exactly what it says on the tin. The fan favourite first-person shooter condensed into a mobile game experience. Its release on android was met with great success as it competed against some of the most popular shooters on mobile such as PUBG and Fortnite. Some of the addictive qualities of Call of Duty Mobile are also based on nostalgia. Since the console game became such a massive hit, the franchise couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to recapture some of their mature audiences on their way to work. Introducing old maps such as Crash and Nuketown players couldn’t resist the urge to duke it out online like they used to back in 2007.
Although nostalgia has a big part to play in Call of Duty Mobile’s addictive nature they are also guilty of incorporating a loot box system. You buy said boxes via through microtransactions containing items of different rarities and subsequent value. The problem with this is that it plays on our brain’s reward system. Sparing you the science lesson these rewards can become very addictive and are one of the main causes of video game addiction. It’s no surprise that the loot box system they incorporated was part of a gambling controversy as this same reward system is also responsible for the development of gambling addictions.
Coming in at number 1 on our list… Many of you might be seeing a pattern here, but the ever nostalgic, pokemon mobile experience takes the cake for the most addictive game on Android. Pokemon GO was the most downloaded mobile app in history gaining approximately 632 million downloads since the game’s release in 2016. There have been numerous reports of injuries and trespassing associated with those addicted to the game throughout the years. But what has made them so hooked? The main and most appealing addictive quality of Pokemon GO that it does so well is its opportunity for escapism.
Players get to live out their lifelong fantasy of being an actual pokemon trainer. Running around your local neighbourhood trying to “Catch ’Em All” stopping over at local pokestops to resupply on pokeballs. The immersive experience took the world by storm. But the game also had a social aspect to it. This one not being so detrimental as it brought people together over a common love for the game. And instead of conversing over discord or game chat people would meet up in person to find rare Pokemon and be the best!
Most people who suffer from video game addiction often use video games as a means to escape other troubles in their life. Be it depression, anxiety, bullying and other negative circumstances. Often when video game addiction is diagnosed large portions of the treatment is spent helping them healthily deal with emotions, negative thoughts and cravings as opposed to running from them. Addicted gamers avoid these negative sensations so when they experience them they are far too overwhelming. They resort to the only way they know how to cope, that being, playing more video games. More on how to treat this later.
Treating Video Game Addiction
As many might have seen in recent news China has placed a ban on video games for those under 18. South Korea has begun to take measures by opening video game addiction treatment camps for the affected youth. But what does this mean for the western world? Video game addiction has been recognised as an official mental health disorder by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This data has ultimately lead to the development of treatment and preventative measures from large healthcare organisations such as the NHS.
Here are some effective treatment methods for video game addiction:
One necessary step is to cut video games out of your life for an extended period of time. The benefits of this are essential to your recovery. For one, it offers the person suffering from video game addiction some perspective. It helps them realize there are more enjoyable things in life than video games. Often gaming addicts cannot remember what is like to go through life without them. So this can sometimes be a pivotal moment in their life. The clinical effects are that it allows the addicted parts of the brain to recover. Through long hours of repetitive gaming, the reward centres of our brain have been wired to only find satisfaction from gaming. By taking a break for 90 days the brain can make a recovery and massively decrease addictive symptoms. Detoxification is a scientifically proven method of overcoming addiction, it is used in in-patient treatment centres for many cases.
This is all about teaching the addict to healthily deal with their underlying negative thoughts and emotions that often lead to them playing video games. Video games provably numb the feelings of fear, anger, anxiety and sadness hence why so many people use them as a pastime. Mindfulness is becoming unconditionally aware of the thoughts in your mind and sensations in your body at that present moment.
The key part of mindfulness is learning to not judge any of the sensations you are feeling, but simply return your focus to observing your thoughts and your body. This can be practised through meditations by yourself or using a guided audio lesson. Mindfulness helps the individual ground themselves amidst an emotional storm and make more rational decisions rather than resorting to their vice.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from video game addiction. The Mindful Gamer is always here to help.