What are some addicting games

Addicting games | Causes of Computer Game Addiction

The addiction triangle has proven itself for research into the causes of addictions. Characteristics of the person, characteristics of the addictive substance computer game and characteristics of the environment. In this article we look at how the characteristics of computer games contribute to addiction.

The same game mechanics that provide normal players with fun, motivation and excitement or distraction promote addiction in vulnerable players.

Different dangerous depending on the game genre

Some genres, such as role-playing games and battle royal shooters, contain more of these addicting elements - others less (e.g. racing games, adventure games).

Game developers are fundamentally interested in:

  • The players are well entertained.
  • (Especially when playing games with subscription models) The players spend as much time as possible on the computer.

That is why they specifically build in such psychologically effective game mechanics. The following list should look familiar to computer gamers.

  • Role-playing games, in which difficult quests can only be solved as a well-coordinated group, create a bigger one social cohesion and at the same time more social pressure.
  • Playful elements can be challenging battles, but also in-game auctions or trading opportunities with virtual game items. Contest elements (“bet on a win for my team”) encourage you to continue playing.
  • All computer games work with Reward stimuli, but these can be presented in different ways - many small rewards or large rare rewards after completing a task, certain rewards after each success or random rewards (e.g. drops of rare items). Especially if the rewards are not received every time, but e.g. B. given only every fourth time (intermittently), a large response develops. The quality of the reward stimulus can also be varied, in addition to game items, level advancement, successful monster battles, advancement in the player ranking, praise and recognition from fellow players are also very effective.
  • In contrast to books, films and most (hardly addictive) offline games, online computer games are designed to be useful for years infinite to be played without actually coming to an end. The developers are constantly increasing the maximum level limits and adding new tasks so that the story never ends. More competitive online shooters or MOBAs work like a soccer league, there is no last game, always a new season and a next game.
  • The Playing with identities and forms of relationships is mainly found in online role-playing games, where the player can also take part in special RP servers (roleplaying) as an upgrade to the standard game.


Computer games have addicting mechanisms built into them like slot machines - but the developer options are much greater.

It is a double-edged sword: It is precisely these mechanisms that ensure good entertainment, joy and fun for the vast majority of players. However, 2-4% of players develop severe addiction as a result.

Book recommendation

Computer game and internet addiction - A cognitive-behavioral treatment manual by Wöfling, Jo, Bengesser, Beutel and Müller.