Game Theory: Candy Crush, Designed to Addict

MatthewPatrick13

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Jun 17, 2014
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Candy Crush, Designed to Addict

Mobile gaming is EVERYWHERE. Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Total Conquest, Dungeon Gems, and while other games sit on the shelves collecting dust, we're spending our time swiping at tiles. WHY? Why are we so addicted to these games? The truth involves brain chemistry in a way you would NEVER expect!

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StorkV

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Sep 6, 2014
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There was a documentary called 'South Park-Freemium Isn't Free" in which they're explaining everything about how they work...long story short the Canadian Devil is behind these evil mobile games...
 

prismaticcrow

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Nov 21, 2014
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This is actually a very well done video. A good healthy dose of real brain chemistry science and a well-thought discussion on the nature of addiction. This is, in my opinion, one of the better episodes that Game Theory has done.

Good show.
 

webkilla

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Feb 2, 2011
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EC already did a vid about the skinner box ages ago...

But ya, candy Crush is a fine example of a perfectly honed skinner box
 

Darth_Payn

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Gospelnut said:
was it supposed to cut to the intro audio at the 5:55 mark?
Glad I'm not the only one who caught that. I thought he was going to make a round-about joke of addictive behavior.

StorkV said:
There was a documentary called 'South Park-Freemium Isn't Free" in which they're explaining everything about how they work...long story short the Canadian Devil is behind these evil mobile games...
Bealzeboot. That son of a *****!
 

Lazy Kitty

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May 1, 2009
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Just 5 more minutes... *several hours later*

Also, it's already been mentioned, but the audio replayed the intro around halfway.
 

Malbourne

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Sep 4, 2013
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I've always wished the show was called "Game Hypothesis," but it's a marketing thing. I get it. It's fine. I'm fine.

This episode was actually pretty good and touched upon some real established theories. A lot of people will hopefully come away a bit more informed about why they find playing games entertaining.
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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webkilla said:
EC already did a vid about the skinner box ages ago...

But ya, candy Crush is a fine example of a perfectly honed skinner box
Skinner's box is a bit different. Sure, it's many similarities and involves dopamines, but skinner's box refers to behavioral manipulation rather than chemical addiction. While using skinner's box involves triggering the brain to release dopamines, it does not necessarily imply addiction; its purpose is motivation.
 

Signa

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My addiction of choice is Puzzles and Dragons. It's exactly like that gem dragons or whatever it was called that was shown in the video, but the battle system is more like Bejeweled.

And as the aforementioned Southpark episode pointed out, if you have an addictive personality, be careful. I don't suggest paying any money for a free to play game, but if you do, set a limit! I enjoy my PAD enough that I'm willing to buy the $20 pack once a year as my "subscription fee." I play it often enough, even after almost 2 years to warrant it.
 

47_Ronin

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Jul 30, 2012
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Show me on this doll where exactly your brain was tickled.
But seriously, I don't get Candy Crush et. al. I even tried it a few times because I thought I was missing sth. (on account of the game being so popular). Nope. Not for me.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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Aug 5, 2009
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I think I managed to spare myself the mobile game addiction because of two reasons...

1) Pokemon is almost always with my anyway.

2) When I did have a phone, the battery life sucked so much that I only ever played a bubble puzzle game if I was really bored.

I guess my addiction threshold has already been reached. It's a miracle I get productive at all these days as it is. :p
 

Link Satonaka

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Mar 1, 2012
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Only problem I have with this video is that candy crush reaches a much wider audience than just the people who could be described as "gamers" by any reasonably definition. Your average candy crush player and the "gamers" in the study are NOT equivalent.

For my part, I was addicted to Tiny Death Star for about a week. It was basically just a worse version of Sim Tower, the wait times became very obnoxious, and when the game bugged out leaving me with negative credits, I just uninstalled it. I tried to get into that new Age of Empires Online, but the wait times where I could literally do nothing became so long I kept forgetting to go back to the game. After a one week absence I open the game to find my resources had stopped accumulating after 24 hours because I didn't click the icon to "collect" the accumulated resources. Sorry, that's just stupid. After a week of not playing a time based game I expect to have a week's worth of things to do, not 5 minutes...