Nationwide gaming addiction support group Online Gamers Anonymous has seen its number of monthly visitors more than quadruple. Gaming addiction recovery centers in Austin, Texas, and Chicago have also seen the number of people seeking addiction help rise dramatically.
Much of gaming’s revenue comes from things that gamers hate the most, features experts say are intentionally designed to mimic gambling, take advantage of human impatience, and capture the money of gamers in traps engineered from cutting-edge psychology.
“It’s like selling your soul to the dark side,” addiction expert Dr. Nicholas Kardaras said of psychologists who work for gaming companies. “You’re going to use your talents to help addict people.”
As gaming’s revenues have increased, companies have “weaponized” psychology to wring money out of the more than 244 million gamers in the United States, he said. Read more…