"When the game you love starts hurting you"

This article came out very recently and discusses player impulses when spending money on the game they play. I am not trolling here, because this is a topic that regulators are now taking notice, when a player impulse can get so out of control and how some are starting to see playing some MMO’s as a gambling habit

My post of this thread with the article does not reflect in any way my attitudes towards CCP or EVE (from which I appreciate!) nor make suggestions of any sort on the serious nature of the article, but is intended to educate anyone interested in MMOs and making them aware of the views people are having on them today.




I began to read this article - I quit at “she emailed the devs to disable her account from real world purchasing of ‘loot boxes’”

You quote

This confuses me, because the title of this topic is of your own wording and choice “When the game you love starts hurting you” so explain how this article does not reflect your attitude, make suggestions of any sort of the serious nature of this article, or has no direct link to the title of the article? To me atleast it seems the exact opposite.

No game can hurt you. Heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, meth, speed, alcohol, casinos, loot boxes, VR, games text based or otherwise cannot hurt you unless you choose to be hurt. Only your own personal choices can hurt you (key here is YOUR OWN CHOICE.) You are no more forced to purchase plex/loot box/ship/skill/item/cocaine/module/heroin/citadel etc etc etc than you are forced to not purchase the same named above items or are forced to put the needle to your arm.

On it’s face this article is misguided and nothing but an opinion, and your title for this topic is misguided and not in line with your above quote.

Loot boxes don’t hook gamers - poor life choices cause this problem. If you wish to “regulate everything” then by all means you should advocate for a 1984 style of world where freedom and personal choice does not exist and one must do what one is told to do, OR ELSE!

Personal accountability is what this is about. That’s more than one conversation which should not be had on the forums of a game.

Cheers. My 2 cents, like em or leave em - I don’t much care :wink:


That’s why I entitled the thread title in quotes. Some people with addictive and impulse behavior sometimes perceive their problem being outside of them. Whether correct or incorrect its things like this can still draw the attention of regulators.

The point of the thread really is to bring awareness that regulators are looking into this. Aside from the argument on what qualifies as gambling or not, game companies in general need to prepare themselves and their games to ensure they are on the “right side” of regulation no matter what the outcome might be. I wanted to post this thread for awareness purposes for players, saying that things are afoot.

You didn’t know that the gaming industry, for many years now, exploits weak minds?
This is just the current pinnacle of psychological abuse and CCP jumped onto the train.

You seriously had no idea?

You need to check your priorities. What game companies should be doing, is stopping abusing and manipulating weak minds into throwing money at them. Instead of relying on Big Brother authority, in this case “Regulators”, people need to be educated about what’s going on and how they are being abused, so this ■■■■ of epic proportion stops completely, not just the loot boxes!

The fact that some people, who work for a government, are looking into things means jack ■■■■ when the abuse won’t stop … and it won’t! All that is EVER happening is that laws are being made to regulate something and then companies find loopholes to keep abusing people for money.

Sheesh, people…

Don’t know how you would assume I was unaware of these things because I would find discussion of them interesting.

Please allow me to hopefully sooth your very concerned mind by assuring you I am quite aware of these things and have been for some time.

Thanks for your touching thoughts though! You’re the best!

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Sorry! :slight_smile:
My bad! :slight_smile:

I think we’re sort of saying the same thing, because more complaints to regulators like the article had cited can only lead to regulation. And if MMO companies do not “clean up” their act they might be later classified as “gambling operations” should legislation be proposed. Something I’m sure no MMO that does not see itself as a gambling operation, would ever want as a label on their game.

The probem I have with this, is that it completely misleads about what is needed to be done. Everyone’s so in this bubble, where the government takes care of everything for us, that we stopped looking at what is actually going on.

Everyone’s so deep in this sick, fake pseudo-reality that we’re being forced into, that they’re forgetting that what they’re reading in newspapers, and seeing in TV, or hearing by politicians, likely is complete and utter ■■■■■■■■ simply because the truth is something that is being deemed to offensive for people to deal with.

And no one can tell me that we’re not living in a world where people are being shielded from negative feelings, including critical thoughts, as much as possible. It’s a nightmare.

Consider that this is a market worth dozens of billions. For way over a decade people have continuously been conditioned into getting more and more milked. I’m not ■■■■■■■ kidding you. It started with games getting easier to please the masses. It continued with the industry noticing that there are certain types of people who are easier to milk. Then it went on with specific research about how people can be effectively milked.

FarmVille was born. It was a monster success and re-defined the industry.

Research continues and finds more and better ways of triggering lower instincts in certain kinds of people, to make them believe they want to throw away their money. It’s all about avoiding conscious thoughts and critical thinking. That’s correctly worded, btw. Saying that all these people want to spend all their money is in complete oppositition to what is going on.

No one is looking at these dozens of millions of people who are apparently so mentally ill, that they can not prevent themselves from doing certain things. Just let that sink in for a minute. Dozens of millions, and that must be a fact, otherwise we’d not be suffering from these kinds of games. Worse, though, is that they’re conditioning children with this, too. The gaming industry dliberately and intentionally targets people with loose wallets, (or children who annoy their parents) and there’s a common thread among all these efforts:

For money they promise the player power. They promise him admiration. They promise him individuality. They promise him that he’s going to be a winner. They promise him he’s going to be a hero.

All these things have in common that it’s about the player fleeing into a better world, where he is not confronted with what and who he really is! Someone who is happy with himself and his life has absolutely no need or desire to escape into a virtual reality where he can be someone else.

And what happens? People think and talk about an article about how the government, which plays the biggest part in the reason why this is even happening, is going to look at this. The people who actually try to look at the reasons for why this whole ■■■■ is able to actually happen is in the first place, are the ones who are being ignored the most.

And the reason, why this ■■■■ can happen in the first place, is because people are completely ■■■■■■ up in general. Thanks to several decades of really bad politics, continuously worsened education (both quality in terms of content and teachers) and TV/media influence.

I’d ecourage you to do some academic research before expressing an opinion. Don’t take it from me, but everything you wrote was demonstrably wrong even though it may be in line with personal beliefs and circumstances.

Start with exploring what is known as social psychology, you will find out that humans are innately programmable entities, that influencing behaviour is the primary interaction between both humans and humans and the tools they create - and that we do not just create conceptual / practical mechanisms but also masking mechanisms as a buffer against our perception being corrected by reality.

From there you can go deeper, into the physical aspects of behavioural choice mechanisms and so forth. Not only is there ample empiriral research in the public academic domain, there is also more than ample commercial academic research on these topics.

Personal accountability is a thing, so to speak, but it is a derivative of capacity determined by conditions - both external and internal. In other words, the more exposure to human created systems the more behavioural vulnerabilities are introduced.

A couple of weeks ago, in relation to work and mandate, I had the opportunity to getting briefed by a selection of both general and commercial academics & institutes on these topics. Granted, in relation to other topics than the impact of gamification and virtual opiate economics, but still related as the toolboxes are integral. Up to that point I had reservations, since that point most of those have started to slip away due to careful application of observation with checks & balances. Not easy, because we tend to believe in concepts, labels, terms and our perception of those.

But at the end of the day this too is part of the primary struggle of human development in the early 21st century: the human creates tools and programs his environment, as such we believe ourselves to be master of our environment and ourselves, instead we are starting to find out that we are also a programmable species. Technology is not neutral, and our beliefs are just another tool created.

Do some research, as unpleasant as it may be. We think we’re personally accountable, and we are, but we also think everything is a matter of individual personal accountability, yet it’s not.

Let me just throw the following example out here. Take a group of say 20 highly intelligent and independant people who are in control of their thinking, their feeling and their choices. Get them to show up for an event, doesn’t even matter what it is about. Put a single round table in the center of the room and make your way around a group as part of normal social interaction. But after that, pick just one person at random, engage that person in conversation and walk with him or her around the table. After about 20 minutes observe the room. Everyone in the room is revolving in mimicked behaviour around the table.

Intelligent, independant, in control people.

If you’re brave, take that experiment further. Disengage from conversation, stop walking, and explain to the group what you just did. After surviving the lashing out and the implosion and explosion of any relations you will wonder whether humans are anything but just another animal.

Here’s the kicker. This hasn’t been part of the domain of psychology for research for decades. It’s applied science. Now think about this for a moment. Behaviour is a market, markets are human constructs which have no capacity for built-in boundaries. Do the math.

In a documentary about MMOs, a Dark Age of Camelot developer admitted that they built “carrots” into the design. Carrot = A new task and new reward presented to the player immediately upon completing the current task and getting the reward. So that the player forgets about what he just accomplished, and immediately focuses on the new task and reward. Create a string of carrots, and the player has a hard time logging off. That was in 2001, when MMOs were very new.

But, we all knew about carrots, if we didn’t know what the designers called them.

I told you all.

It’s happening.


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