6 ways the gaming industry keeps players interested

6 ways the gaming industry keeps players interested

Regardless of whether you see yourself as a casual gamer or someone who is well and truly addicted to playing their favourite games, there is no doubt that the gaming world is becoming incredibly competitive. With more and more games being released into an already saturated market and with technology creating excitement when it comes to the advancements in gaming capabilities, it’s safe to say that the gaming industry is under pressure to perform.

This performance is now not only measured by interface quality and game speed as it once was, but is increasingly being measured by media hype and rising sales quotas which are in turn having an impact on the structure of games too. With the introduction of tech such as Virtual Reality and a whole manner of other sophisticated game playing methods, its little wonder that our attention is such a valuable thing to get to get to grips with in the fight for the contents of our wallets. So, just how does the gaming industry fight to keep up as engaged and interested in their games as possible?

  1. The Skinner Box

One of the most fascinating things about how the gaming industry keeps us addicted to their games comes from the work of BF Skinner. Skinner discovered that you could quite easily control the behaviours of players by training them around the very simple concept of stimulus and reward. This theory was tested on a rat who was rewarded with food after pressing a lever. This insight into behaviour worked to further research and development into games such as the role playing game Everquest, for example, which is referred to as a virtual version of the Skinner Box idea. The mechanics of certain games are adapted to get us doing the exact same actions over and over without noticing or even having a say in doing so particularly.

  1. The introduction of Bitcoin

While so many of us are yet to be fully made acquainted with Bitcoin and its fellow emerging cryptocurrencies, there is no shortage of evidence that shows us that Bitcoin is well and truly establishing a strong presence in the gaming community. This is all the more true of casino games, such as the Bitcoin blackjack variation, as it allows you to play your favourite casino games in a way that does not keep track of your personal information, for examples. The integration of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies means that games are free from transaction fees which is something that is proving to be popular with so many individuals. The benefits of using Bitcoin also extend beyond the immediate ones accessed by gamers, for example the online gaming industry is able to make the most of simpler game set up processes, which means we can have access tour new games that much more quickly.

  1. Incorporating real life elements

Consider the idea that some of the most addictive games out there are based in some way on real life elements. It is a simply psychological fact that our brain tends to treat goods and items in the gaming world as if they are real, which is why it is perfectly reasonable for some of us to become obsessed with working on getting virtual money or a sword, for example, despite the fact they are not ‘real’ or tangible. After all, it takes a great deal of skill, time and effort to get hold of items of value in any game. This leads on to us being made to be convinced to pay into an idea, which is why the virtual goods industry is now worth more than $5 billion worldwide.

  1. Pressing levers

Another fascinating the gaming industry keeps us on our toes when playing games is through the power of lever pressing and interval rewards. Experiments have shown that rather than us being rewarded in every instance that we press a particular button etc., one of the best ways to get us hooked is through giving up rewards at random intervals as this stops us from being lulled into a secure place through expecting a reward every single time we press a lever (so to speak). Variable ratio rewards have proven to be highly effective when it comes to getting us addicted to our favourite games- this is similar to the way that slot machines are so popular and addictive.

  1. Long term goal setting

Continuing on from the previous point, it has to be said that games need a little bit more sophistication when it comes to keeping us obsessed and interested in playing more and for extended periods of time. Humans have a need for long term goals in real life which is why the same concept is applied to our gaming world too. Some of the most popular ‘long term goal setting’ techniques set up by game development companies are as follows:

  • Erasing rewards over time and thus making it harder to move up between levels through making them more of a challenge to obtain.Engaging players in long term missions that are hard to get out of without losing some form of progress. Take for example the fact that you have to commit to playing a game of FIFA for a particular time period or complete a World Of Warcraft raid.
  • Punishing players who do not engage with a game and thus ensuring that they are not tempted to avoid playing.


  1. Games are better that real life?

It is said that one of the main reasons why we find some game so intriguing and exciting to play is in the fact that they offer us something that we are lacking in our day to day lives, particularly when it comes to work, for example. It is said that in order to be satisfied by your job you will need to have the following three things:

  • Autonomy and being able to have a say in the things that you do on a day to day basis
  • Some form of complexity so that you are not faced with the prospect of repetition that numbs you brain and stunts creativity
  • A meaningful connection between your efforts and the rewards (if any!) that you obtain

When you consider that the majority of gamers tend to be part of a younger demographic you will see that they are unlikely to have the three things we mentioned earlier in their working life- and this is precisely why games are so addictive as they tend to offer you all three!


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Author: RootGamer View all posts by

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