Reality Check - Are MMO Games Actually Bad For You?
Prepare for The Elder Scrolls Online with Cam's investigation of the negative claims surrounding MMO games. Are they really all that bad for you?
by Sarah Lynch on
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Flex those mental muscles and join Cam Robinson on a journey of discovery in Reality Check, the show that investigates the science behind your favourite games, and spawns a few wild theories of its own.
Schedule: Thursdays at 12pm PT
Host: Cameron Robinson
They would be bad for you if you play them for long periods and are not interesting in: resting your eyes, sleeping, eating, etc.
A reality check purely on addiction would be interesting. I would also like to see a reality check on how does gaming affect sleep in a positive or negative way.
An episode on Games in Education and teaching/learning.
Or maybe on Games as a literature
i dont know if they are bad for me, i dont touch them. I want Single Player RPG's. Actually i prefer single player games in general. Like reading a book.
make an episode about Nerve gear :P
its a concept for VR u can find in recent Japanese anime Sword art online
I think its a very very nice idea
Great show Cam,
A show on gaming addiction would be great. Have you seen the movie 'Second Skin' (2009)
It's a movie about gaming addiction and dealt primarily World of Warcraft.
The movies shows one person going to rehab, another person committing suicide (if I remember correctly), and another disabled person who is able to socialize and express himself and make positive contributions to others.
Gaming is the most addicting drug on the planet, I believe, but they make like much more fun to.
Coulson's first comment saying that MMOs are bad because of the violent content seems like a bit of a cut'n'paste response to ANY videogame. I've always got the impression the bulk of time spent in an MMO is usually around other activities like trading or crafting, hunting and such.
Truth be told I wouldn't say there are any negative effects from playing MMOs that couldn't be found in other genres of games as well, while the potential benefits are fairly unique.
Did anyone take a look a his article of gaming "leveling-up your social life" and this? That journal article published was already biased by administering questionnaire's to their sample populations (which is a infinitesimally small representation, since these sorts of events house social personalities in gaming). But furthermore, we still discuss that the MMO has a lot of negative properties largely dealing with antisocial behavior - or to put in lighter terms, "sucked in". Even Final Fantasy had built-in reminders that players needed to take breaks. I was 14 when I tried WoW, and I can still remember a couple (who both played WoW) practically become divorced from it - AGAIN, these are extreme examples (and also, kinda interesting that I had that exposure). Although I grew up in a time that cultivated games as a social experience with the introduction of online - there will always be stereotypes for a reason. I do however believe it is safe to say that (in no small part due to all the people who work hard in the industry) development of games are definitely becoming more socially geared and acceptable (Even my Grandma vaguely understands that Skyrim is a popular game)
Cam, I love this series - I love science because we can quantify data using science. This video acts a lot like a literature review of scientific articles (which, by no means should be discounted). I'd like to see more articles involved in your hypotheses, remember - it's always acceptable to refute your hypothesis!
I personally don't play MMO's, not to say there is anything wrong with them, but while I find it easy to socialize in real life I find it extremely difficult to get into games where I have to communicate with other people online. Just an odd quirk of life.
Like many things in life, MMOs are bad for you as much as you let them to be. You actually have a choice. It's same as drugs, alcohol and smoking, you do it because you CHOSE to do it! Well, not same... normal dosage of video games isn't bad... as long as it's in normal dosages.
My first encounter with MMOs was WOW... I loved playing it, but I never neglected my work, family, GF, friends and my exercise. After 2 months I quit, returned twice (2 months again)... played few MMOs after, but never got addicted. Not because I disliked them, or got bored... because I didn't let my actual real life suffer because never ending games.
My point... you are who you chose to be, while life throw at you things you can't chose, becoming a gaming hermit IS A CHOICE!
I haven't met an MMO to date that I've liked. And when you tack on paying for a base game AND subscription fees, it just becomes doubly over a "no chance in hell" proposition. There's something about having to deal with tons of other human players that I feel very unappealing. Personally, I love the idea of large-scale 2-4 player games. But your classic MMO just always rubs me the wrong way.
As for the professor's diagnosis, I have no issue with games the use or promote violence. The more something becomes a chore in repetitious tasks, the more I feel like my time is being wasted, and I've got better things to do. Games, even non-MMOs, are time wasters, but as long as you're being entertained, it validates the time investment. Nothing has hooked me or pulled me into the gameplay mechanics of an MMO. I guess it's like asking someone to like a sports game when they don't like sports.
To anyone thinking I'm passing judgement on them in the event the like MMOs, I am not. If you like MMO's, more power to ya. Different strokes for different folks. It just doesn't seem to be my cup o' joe.
the addicting part of those games is the social aspect. at least for me. I played wow, ALOT. but mostly with my friends. and I find myself now playing battlefield 4. I play hours when I have friends to play with, but only maybe 3 or 4 games when i'm alone.
im not the addictive type, I drink coffee but i don't crave it (not every day even) i don't smoke don't even understand the moronic concept of smoking, and I never got drunk, in some parallel universe i can probably bend space time with my will and make people do anything I want.
yes I did play wow for a while then the end game bored the C**P out of me, frankly I just hated the idea of "making" time for games, I play games to waste time and have fun, I DONT make time for games if you start marking calenders to have fun ur doing it wrong....
I'm gonna play TESO, seems like a solid game but again if it becomes too grindy and repetitive I will probably dump it too, I'm now dling it and it should be up and running soon but I aint in a hurry
this time I WILL join a guild early and try to make a few buddies online and hell maybe actually get to meet them this time, my friends don't like MMOS or games for that matter so cant bring them in :P
I started playing Rift recently, and I really enjoy it but after so long I just have to get up and go out or to the gym or something. I know it's time when I'm not playing and just jumping around the main city bored lol.
Btw I tried to share this but I got a link with it saying "Here's how to get your free World of Warcraft epic mount Hearthsteed" so yer link broken bub.
Played PSO on Dreamcast I mean that is what got me INTO MMos because before online was about fighting other players and I wanted to co op not fight them.
Honestly I live in a small town and away from the majority of friends and family so this is a fantastic time killer (MMOs) that allow me to interact with people from the world over (potentially)
Oh and talk about addiction last game I was like that was the original Legend of Zelda.
MMOs positively influence introverts social life since they are more calculated and they will apply it in real life as well, while they can negatively influence extroverts social life since its a process that mainly desire a solitude while playing.
With the ridiculous people in the mmorpg communities who don't care about people wanting a life outside of the game yes these games are bad for people. The raid schedules are often ridiculous and the demands on players are extreme. I also think that the companies that make these games could do more to make it a healthier gaming experience but they don't care about that as they want you hooked. They want it to be like crack.
What needs to happen with these games is for content to not be nerfed so people don't feel they have to constantly play to see content the way it was meant to be played. They also need to limit guilds to running only 2 raid days per week. I wouldn't even mind seeing them have one week every so often where you can't raid.
Yes mmorpg games are bad for people cuz the people who often are at the leadership spots in these communities are complete addicts to the games and would not know real life if it hit them in the face.
I purposely avoided WoW because I knew it would consume most of my life. I do not regret this decision.
i play an mmo now just to waste time, hang out with friends, compete in pvp and meet with new players. and play new things when they are released.
im sucked in but for a short time like an hour at most and most of the time i have full control over my time.
when i played wow i was sucked in for a long time but after i went everywhere i wanted, explored, understood the game, then it wasnt long after that when i got bored and stopped playing.
idk about addiction and stuff but i played as long as it was fun and once it was boring it was over for me.
You could do an episode on why we feel games were better 'back in the day'. When in reality they are usually not, its just our nostalgia.
I'd like to think I could write a book on this subject. When it comes to MMOs, I've been there and done that. Yes -- even that.
I've learned that the more time you spend in an MMO, the more time you are not out meeting people or bettering yourself in traditional ways -- many of which are vital to success, no matter how you define it. I probably "lost" a few years of my life due to MMOs. I didn't meet my favorite person in the world until my late 20s or get a BS degree until my early 30s.
However, MMOs can be a rich tapestry of social dynamics, politics, triumph, failure, love, loss, patience, tenacity, adversity, reward, consequences, and many other challenges one faces in the real world.
There are many things in life I wish I could go back and change, but I'm not so certain my time spent playing MMOs would be one of them.
I never understood how people can get hooked to a video game. Don't get me wrong, I love video games and I will play anything worthwhile, but I've never gotten hooked. The only time I got "hooked" was when I rented a game from Blockbuster (yes I know long time ago) and then managed to not play it until I had 24 hours left with it, so then I played the living sh*t out of it until the next day.
There use to be a time when MMOs were actually challenging from the start. Where choosing how you wanted to spec and gear your character matters. This, for many of us, is what kept us hooked. Now you have a system that just does everything for you, a stat system that is incredibly watered down (Looking at you WoW) and a system that tells you where exactly to go.
Are MMOs still addicting? They can be, but for many of us who were around since the beginning. They are nowhere near as complex and indepth, thus losing their appeal much more quickly.
@joedin2056 i'd like to see one like that
@devilzzz1983 As someone who has played MMO's on a regular basis for the last decade I don't really see where you're coming from at all.
It sounds like your problem is with the people, not the games themselves. In which that case I would say the people you have encountered while playing these games are only a fraction of the overall playerbase. It's all about finding a group of people who share the same mentality as you do in regards to the game.
Also your claims that content shouldn't be nerfed is counter to your other statements. Making it prohibitively difficult for casual players to attempt and complete content is not a "healthier gaming experience". In fact it fosters the bloated raid schedules and extreme demands from the players to dedicate large chunks of time to even do them. Especially as the game expands and starts to release more content, which is often times even more difficult than the previous batch of content.
@devilzzz1983 This is one reason why I've never really got into MMO's. Not enough time to play all the time -plus I have other hobbies too so I don't want to play all the time. This is why Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim/Fallout 3/Fallout:NV are superior. They are far more polished and you can fire them up whenever and continue exactly where you left off with nothing changing in the interim.
@devilzzz1983 I left those raid guilds and often do those more often friendlier Raid finder. Sometimes mixing it up with strangers can be just as rewarding as frustrating =)
@OHGFawx I thought it was stupid, and avoided it. but then 2 friends said I should just try it. took my computer to their house, downloaded it and then I wasted a good 2 years playing that game. but it was fun.
@sebbysebbseb The ratio of games with very high replayability was much higher back then as opposed to the mostly "one and done" nature of today's games. If I live to be 80, the original legend of Zelda, SMB3, Mario Kart 64, Doom, and dozens of others will still all be fantastic games worth playing through. Meanwhile all of the MP shooters and mmo's whose replay factor relies on internet connectivity will be inaccessible since their servers would have shut down decades ago.
In that regard, games were better in the old days because down the road people may very well still be playing them, but nobody will be playing WoW or Call of Duty despite their rampant popularity today. That's why I make sure to collect games with excellent single player modes, and I don't download digital copies if a disc is available. I want to play these games till the day I die, and hopefully pass my collection on to someone who would truly appreciate it.
@sebbysebbseb except that it isnt always true. i played doom3 before doom 1&2. and i loved 1 and 2 so much. so they are really better.
same for many other games like c&c where the old games were great and a new one like C&C4 TT is crap.
@sebbysebbseb They were better back in the day.
@sebbysebbseb what it probably comes down to, is all eras have their amazing games and all eras of gaming have their sht games.
It doesnt matter how good graphics get in the future, there is still going to be a fair share of awful games, because of companys trying to do quick cash grabs. Look at RAMBO for example. The fact that game was even made for 2014 is almost unbelievable. but that type of game in the 90's was massively popular in the arcades.
@sebbysebbseb unless you are talking about COD, Medal Of Honor, Ghost recon, SWAT 4, The Sims, Simcity, Battlefield,
Actually the list is to large. But yeah i see what you mean maybe in some instances. But theres a ton of games that i think were WAY more interesting and way better without the QTE's, handholding gameplay mechanics that they have today.
Not all games are better, like You still have great games today, liek dark Souls and The Witcher and ARMA and many others liek mass effect are awesome.
Like take Golden Eye for example. its really not as good as most FPS's now. Golden Eye suffers from classic nostalgia. however look at No One Lives Forever and Half life 2. I think these games are way better than the single player modes we have now in Battlefield 3 or RYSE.
But then take DOOM with the GZdoom mods, its way better now because of mods than it ever was. Counter Strike i think had better gameplay 10 years ago.
Is Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 better than COD Ghosts? maybe. I think so. Maybe its just personal opinion.
I should add that my post is from a bygone era. It seems most MMO players these days prefer a world that is more "gamey" as opposed to more virtual.
Death is nothing more than a flick on the wrist. Names can be changed and identities interchangeable. Politics is practically non-existent. Choices can be undone. Consequences for actions are gone. Leveling systems are routinely gamed. Constant hand-holding ensures a lack of mystery or adventure.
The only way to get many of the features that are lacking in modern MMOs is to play a hardcore PvP MMO, and that comes with its own deep set of problems.
Aside from piles of money, I'll never understand why the gaming industry let WoW change the face of MMOs into a game where you just happen to be around other people all doing the same thing as you.... and sometimes you need those people to beat a boss in a certain way. There was once much more subtext to be found in MMOs.
@OHGFawx ^yeah, this is what i am afraid of, the online and digital games that i have expiring sometime in the future so that i can never play them again. I recently bit the bullet and bought Diablo 3 + RoS on PC because I couldn't wait to see whether or not Blizzard would release RoS on PS3.
I figure if I put in AT LEAST 60 hours of gameplay, then I will not be angry at myself once the servers go down several years down the road. Sure I will not be able to play a game that requires online because the servers will most likely be dried up in 5-10 years (maybe more), but if I put in one hour for every dollar I spend on a game, then I will feel like I got my money's worth. It took me 16 years of gaming to come up with that justification (I'm 22 now), and my "buying games impulsively" addiction has gone down significantly because of it.
@game_gt3 Well that could clearly be your nostalgia talking for the new C&C game, providing you played the previous games before the recent one.
Doom 3 vs Doom 1/2 is a bad example in my opinion. When you played Doom 3 you would have compared it to modern linear shooters, and doom 3 was a poor shooter compared to modern day shooters. Whereas the first Dooms were very different, it's another generation of an FPS. You can't compare Doom to any modern day shooter and say it was better. Different gen of FPS.
@Lash540 @sebbysebbseb some were, some werent lol. Just like theres some amazing games today like Mass effect trilogy and theirs some complete sht games to today..
Look at The Witcher 3. If that game comes out as good as it looks adn has enough variety in skills you can upgrade, it COULD possibly be the greatest RPG ever made. Who knows.
But yeah games like QUAKE 3 vs COD Ghosts, id take an updated Quake 3 over a new COD anyday. Id take a new QUAKE with killstreaks if they had to do it to keep up with the times lol.
@nyran125tk @Lash540 I could provide an example. Castlevania. One of the first ones. Someone would say it's a great game, they spent many, many hours into it. But you compare that nowadays. That game wouldn't hold up to a modern side scroller game, but that person would still love the game because of nostalgia reasons, they remember having a great time and it will forever be a great game for them even though, it's not. You could get a younger generation kid who has never played a NES game and I dare say, they wouldn't like it as much as modern games.
I am not basing this solely on my own opinion, I once watched a video about how nostalgia affect gamers and how they think that certain game was so great.
And I wasn't so much talking about the days of Quake and UT. They are still pretty modern. I was talking about games where the graphics were all pixelated. Or when the storyline was save the princess. Or where there was no storyline, just hop across the other side of the road.