They say don’t measure life by the breaths you take, The Psychology of Social Gaming Articles but by the moments that take your breath away. Well, anyone who has ever been addicted to FarmVille or Mafia Wars on Facebook would rather measure life by the number of hours before they can harvest their crops or get their precious daily energy pack.
Social games can be so addictive that a blogger who goes by the moniker HarryJerry wrote: “Once you’ve started playing with them you no longer care about your girlfriend, college assignments or a kidney failure. These games get into you like oxygen.”
Some behavioral experts would squirm at the use of sbobet wap the word “addiction” when describing such, ah, er, extreme attachment to these games. Obsessive players, however, insist that the condition is real. When you sneak a peek into Facebook while at work to grab virtual golds for St. Patrick’s Day or set alarms and wake up at 2 a.m. to harvest your crops so they don’t wither, or when you eat your lunch right in front of your PC so you can attack other Mafia Wars players in between bites, what else do you call that?
And the number of players is staggering. In fact, Farmville, currently the most popular game app on Facebook with 83 million active users, is even bigger than Twitter which has slightly over 80 million members (RJ Metrics).
Fortunately, not everyone is susceptible to the charms of online games. According to Jay Parker, a chemical dependency counselor and co-founder of Internet/Computer Addiction Services in Redmond, Washington, there are certain types of people who are likely to get addicted to social gaming, and these are the isolated, the lonely, the bored, and those who have little interest in sex (“I don’t care if I wasn’t invited to Megan’s stupid debut or my boyfriend doesn’t speak to me anymore. See, I’m already level 1,500 in Mafia Wars and I win every fight I get into. Bleh.”)