Why Our Psyche Makes Us Want to Play Different Games

Game Psychology: Why We Want to Keep Playing

Games are fun and we often remember them fondly after we are done playing. In fact, some of us tend to develop such fondness for games that they seek them out repeatedly. This begs the question of why. Why are we so keen on continuing playing time and again, indulging in very similar patterns without ever getting bored of them? Some players prefer to try free roulette games where you can play and have fun while others are sticklers for board games, but in each case, we find a game that we like and stick with it. To help you find an answer to the question of why people like games, we will look at several essential aspects of the human psyche.


We Like Gratification More Than Anything

The first and most obvious reason why people play games is gratification. We love the release of serotonin in our brains even if we cannot actually tell when this happens. However, the bursts of satisfaction, elation, and enjoyment that are related to playing games are easily something that we as humans seek out repeatedly. Of course, different people will have different ways of achieving gratification.

Some players would seek the easiest way to the top, not setting the bar high for themselves, or challenge themselves much and enjoy the instant gratification. Other players, though, will seek out slightly harder scenarios. They will only produce serotonin if the game is hard enough.

Either way, though, players are seeking out gratification, even if this gratification is achievable in two slightly different ways.


Narrative That Engages

While the world as we know it may be slightly limiting in terms of the law of physics we all have to comply with, a game world allows us to explore new venues and appreciate them in full. Players will have the opportunity to follow a brand-new narrative that possibly plays right into their fantasies.

Therefore, creating an engaging game is important – creating a great narrative is even more so. Video games are particularly good at telling a story. Some, such as Dragon Age have gone heavy on the narrative but others, such as Assassin’s Creed have a fantastic ambiance that invites great narrative, but only delivers on the action.

That is not to say that Assassin’s Creed lacks depth or narrative, it’s just sparser, and this is offset by the introduction of what is a fantastic in-game mechanic instead.


Curiosity and Knowledge

Surprisingly, there are many reasons why we would want to play games. Curiosity and knowledge are two of the main reasons there. As it turns out, people of enquiring minds do need to wind down a bit, and what better way to wind down other than to be learning again?

Therefore, games such as Civilization are truly amazing as they allow you to study new worlds, explore new concepts and overall try to broaden your horizons, which to a specific type of player is all that really matters in a game.

Given how complex the Civilization video game series is, though, it’s easy to see why curiosity-driven players would find it an immediate top choice.


Social Standing and Status

As it turns out, a game can be about social status. Yes, a simple video game can really boil down to just that – your desire to have a status within a community. Now, you may be thinking – what sort of social status is that if you acquire it in a video game?

Well, even the smallest communities have their alphas. Now, imagine a game where you meet 10 million unique players, as at the zenith of World of Warcraft, without a doubt the most successful game ever.

Obtaining a status in this game might smell like small fry, but you would definitely want to be recognized for your achievements in the game. It’s basic human psychology. And so, the reasons why we play video games are many and varied, and they are all very interesting and characteristic of the human condition.

You will no doubt find the experience quite entertaining and have your own type of game that you would like to play. The question is – do you know why you want to play it?


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