Some kinds of games are more likely to result in problematic use, because they create a feeling of immersion and intense emotions.
- MMORPGs: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are immersive games where the action never stops and people can spend a huge amount of time. There are always new horizons to explore and new skills to develop! By playing, we have the feeling of “entering another world,” and it’s very absorbing. Also, we build an avatar, which can become our “ideal me,” in a sense. Finally, we may appreciate the fact that these worlds offer a safe, predictable environment: we know how it works, we know the rules, we know what will happen if we do this or that action… whereas in the real world, everything’s a bit more complicated!
- First-person shooters arouse strong emotions: we embody a character, we have a mission to complete… and we have to kill all our enemies. It’s easy to be captivated by these games for hours on end. We can even feel obligated to continue until we’ve succeeded at some task, whereas in reality, it won’t bother anyone if we stop! Finally, these games create pleasant sensations: big adrenaline rushes or a feeling of satisfaction (an immediate reward) as soon as we manage to kill an enemy, for example.
A different world, where we can become whoever we want, go on quests, accept exciting missions, and experience strong emotions, without any real risk… it’s no wonder we like to play these video games often and for a long time! But be careful: the risk of losing control is very real!