Why micro gaming leads to game addiction
Micro gaming is gaming that can be completed within 1-3 minutes.
When playing online games usually there are tasks to do that can take all of 30 minutes to several hours. A tournament in a game with 20 players involved can last many hours. In another game, an attack on a dungeon boss can take several hours. Player versus player based games where competitions take place can also last hours. To participate in this kind of game players know that they must have the spare time.
No rocket science here indeed. It's simple. No one starts to participate in a 5-hour game 5 minutes before they are off to work.
Now, what is micro gaming?
A typical online game doesn't only have 5-hour task to play it. There are loads of different stuff to do in a game, and this is of course to create a game addiction. The economy is a significant aspect of most of the online games. The gamer needs to get the game currency to buy other stuff like potions, Armour, houses, land, materials and hundreds of different things the game has to offer. This is where micro gaming comes in. Most of the games have an auction system where players can sell and buy different stuff. These tasks take between one and three minutes. Checking auction to see if anything is sold or bought. Contact people on open chat to buy or sell something. Many games have offline activities that can be started when the gamer is online and working while the players are offline. For example, building different things. The player gathers or buys materials to build a ship.
To build the ship takes 3 hours no matter if the player is online or offline. This means the gamer is micro gaming in order to start the process and then log off.
This sounds very innocent. Whats the big deal then? Why does this lead to game addiction?
I know a mother of 3 living in Texas USA that was playing an online game and loved to collect rare items. Rare items are usually dropped from killing in-game mobs. A rare drop can be something that drops from a killed mob once per year. These things cost a lot of in-game money. It's even possible to buy those items for real money. This mother was a housewife taking care of the children, so she had all the time in the world for logging in to the game once in a while to check the in-game auction to see if her item was for sale or if anyone in the open game chat was selling it. But this escalated to a point where she logged in to game and game forums to check if her desired item was for sale, AT NIGHTS. That's right, not only during the day but she set the clock to wake her up every two hours at night and totally destroying her sleep patterns so that she could get her items.
How game addiction destroys health due to lack of sleep, you can read here.
But in this case, its the micro gaming that ruined the woman's life because even if every login only lasted 30 seconds to check auction and open chat, it was done maybe 50 times per day.
Micro gaming, as innocent as it seems, can utterly destroy a game addicts life.
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