How Fortnite Triggered an Unwinnable War Between Parents and Their Boys

How Fortnite Triggered an Unwinnable War Between Parents and Their Boys
By Betsy Morris
Dec. 21, 2018

Research on the impact of videogames:

  • On one hand, it found videogames can boost visual acuity, processing speed and decision making.
  • Studies also link gaming to poor behavior and lower school performance. A recent study of U.S. eighth and 10th-graders found that 30 or more hours a week of videogaming can be a risk factor for increased substance use.


When Playing Video Games Means Sitting On Life’s Sidelines

When Playing Video Games Means Sitting On Life’s Sidelines
October 20, 2013

The reSTART center was set up in 2009. It treats all sorts of technology addictions, but most of the young men who come through here — and they are all young men — have the biggest problem with video games.

Are you getting enough exercise, sleep and quality time with the people you care about? “If [the behavior] is interfering, then there’s a problem there somewhere,” Cash says.

It is called “Age of Wushu.” It’s like a Ming Dynasty-type game where you create your own style of martial arts.

In May, a new disorder was added to the DSM-5‘s list of conditions that warrant more research – Internet gaming.
Experts say the designation means this online activity is more likely to be recognized as a distinct form of addiction.

How Video Games Are Getting Inside Your Head

How Video Games Are Getting Inside Your Head — And Wallet
October 29, 2013

The first commercially successfully video game, Pong, invaded Americans’ living rooms 38 years ago. Since then, the industry has evolved from a simple bouncing ball in the Atari original to games with astounding graphics and sound

“I hate it. I really do,” she says. “He could play Xbox for 12 straight hours. [He has] friends in Mexico City and friends in England.”
Vanessa says Max is addicted to video games.
“When I took it away, he started to cry,” she says. “My God, I am offering you to go play tennis or go play golf … and I am making you shut this down, and you’re crying about it.”

They make you feel good. And it’s no accident, says Ramin Shokrizade, the game economist for Wargaming America.
“The technology for this has gotten quite sophisticated,” says Shokrizade, who began his career in neuroscience and behavioral economics.
“At this point, every major gaming company worldwide either has in place a fully developed business intelligence unit, or they’re in the process of building one.”

Today’s game design is dominated by research, he says. As we play games, game developers are tracking every click, running tests and analyzing data.

They are trying to find out: What can they tweak to make us play just a bit longer?
What would make the game more fun?
What can get us to spend some money inside a game and buy something?
So as millions of people play, designers introduce little changes and get answers to all of these questions in real time. And games evolve.
For example, most games today sell virtual goods right inside the game — like a new gun in Call of Duty or a cow in FarmVille. Shokrizade’s job is to get people to buy them.
One of the tricks of the trade is something developers at Zynga — which created FarmVille — used to call “fun pain” or “the pinch.” The idea is to make gamers uncomfortable, frustrate them, take away their powers, crush their forts — and then, at the last second, offer them a way out for a price.

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