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The Human Condition : What people want can be found in simple games, that’s why these make us happy (temporarily) AND addicted

These are some of the psychological theories that are highlighted in the article (click the link above) :

1) People naturally like/want to look for sequences and patterns.

2) People also like to be rewarded immediately. (e.g. achieve a target and get to a new level of the game)

3) Getting a super-sized reward (e.g. extra music, colours, praise for getting some special achievement) is exceptional pleasing, and the desire to experience this again makes a person play some more. (another e.g. the slot machine : one coin, sudden huge winnings)

4) People naturally like to communicate our personal qualities, hence the popularity of games that let you customise farms, homes, islands, zoos, your fashion sense etc (more so if these games are on social networking sites)

5) People naturally hate to lose things, see them ruined (which makes games where things die or spoil if left unattended addictive)

6) Autonomy is a better predictor of happiness than money

7) The rush caused by delay and the anticipation of reward is an innate feature in Man

8) People naturally want ‘flow’ – have clear goals, give full focus on a task

9) People really want to acquire and demonstrate real-world skills that give them the illusion of control (So, letting them perform these skills even in virtual, inconsequential games fulfils this desire… so they get duped into thinking they are productively employing these skills, when they are not)


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