Game Psychology: Why We Love Games-2021?

If you have played games, you may know how addictive they could be. They win our hearts, make us feel thrilled, powerful, and energized. Sometimes, I even play games for hours without paying heed to the passing time.

So, what makes games so addictive? We can get our answers by knowing the perspective and thinking of a gamer. It can be done with an understanding of game psychology. So what is game psychology, to be exact?

Game psychology discusses the thinking processes of a gamer, their perspectives, and the reasons that make them feel exhilarated while playing games.

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Game Psychology: Why Our Brains Love Games?

So, why our brain loves the game? We would try to understand this view using Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So, what it explains, let’s look at it in brief,

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests an order through which we fulfill our needs. The assessment also tells us as humans; we tend to fill the lowest levels of our needs before moving to the next level. The needs are divided into two groups, they are,

  • Deficiency need
  • Growth need
1. Deficiency needs:

These are connected to our basic survival needs. e.g., Breathe, eat, sleep, comfort, safety, security, love, belongingness, self-esteem, respect, attention, dignity, competency, and so on.

2. Growth needs:

These needs are more translated into our psychological needs. e.g., Understand, seek knowledge, adventure, experience ideas and things, excitement, self-fulfillment, and realizing potential.

Evolution has evolved us in such ways that we listen to our needs. This helps reinforce positive and healthy behavior; for example, we eat when we are hungry, which makes us fulfilled.

So, when we fulfill our needs, it creates a pleasant experience associated with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates a good or positive feeling. This is released when we get a reward and helps to make us feel happy and content.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter connected with positive feelings that are released by these reinforced areas to stimulate the body to repeat the same behaviors. This is one of the main reasons to drive the same function repeatedly.

Achieving lower needs such as eating, getting small rewards are pretty straightforward to achieve, while higher needs such as gaining respect or respect are more complex and difficult to achieve.

Through measuring results, we tend to compare and measure ourselves to others. Similarly, games are played against others, or excelling yourself, or even against computers. These games help us have specific goals with a set of regulations.

So, when playing games, we compete and could excel on so many levels, feeling empowered. The rewards give us enough pleasure, which is released by dopamine. And that is exactly why our brain loves games, and we love them too.

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Experiences in a game:

Roger Caillois’s book, Man, Play, and Games, proposes the classification of different types of experiences that we gather from playing games. They are,

  • Competition
  • Chance
  • Vertigo
  • Make-believe
  1. Competition. Games are all about competition. You compete with yourself, or with others or even with the computers. The feeling of competition makes one feel thrilled and empowered. 
  2. Chance. So, games usually give you chances either to win or fail in a competition. As players, you could control or predict your chances of winning. 
  3. Vertigo. When you are playing a game, you are actually in a state that helps you forget the real world. You enter into a world of illusion, vastness.  
  4. Make-Believe. In games, you are a completely different identity from your real one. You may become a captain or a fighter. While playing, you totally become that entity and could believe yourself fully. 
Books you can enjoy reading on Game psychology:
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Final thoughts

Games are there to arouse your maximum amount of pleasure. They are fun, give you full power to control, and make you feel a powerful entity. Yes, they can be addictive, which is difficult to control sometimes.

Through our article, Game psychology: why we love games, we tried discussing how we feel while playing a game and what makes us love playing them. As mentioned earlier, they can keep you busy all the time, and we do follow that since we get the maximum pleasure out of it.

However, we need to control if we feel that we are getting addicted. No matter how much we feel excited, we have to keep it under rules and control to don’t overdo it. At the end of the day, we have to understand that this is not our real identity. So, let us play games for pleasure but not make it an addiction or compelling habit. 

 

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