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Addicted to Games?

An interesting article from The New York Times written by Sam Anderson, reveals a lot about the time we invest in addictive games and what that means.

“In 2011, Rovio’s chief executive claimed that Angry Birds players were spending 200 million minutes inside the game every day — a number that seems simultaneously absurd and plausible. A number like that can’t tell us, however, about the quality of those minutes; how many of them were fun or fulfilling or even intentional.”

The amount of time we spend flinging virtual birds and slicing flying fruit prompts questions about why we do it. It could be that it’s just really that entertaining and enjoyable, or it may be the case that these things are just something to keep us distracted from the rest of our busy lives.

“We play them incidentally, ambivalently, compulsively, almost accidentally. They’re less an activity in our day than a blank space in our day; less a pursuit than a distraction from other pursuits. You glance down to check your calendar and suddenly it’s 40 minutes later and there’s only one level left before you jump to the next stage, so you might as well just launch another bird.”

We definitely have a different platform for playing games than the options we used to have. Now, we are able to play these games anywhere we want as long as we have the right technology. It is always interesting, though, to compare them to some of the old games we play. Do they last the same amount of time? Are we playing them more?

“The Angry Birds creators like to compare their game with Super Mario Brothers. But the first and simplest level of Super Mario Brothers takes about a minute and a half to finish. The first level of Angry Birds takes around 10 seconds.”