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  • If Candy Crush and other games feel like insidious mind control devices, it's only because they

  • are.

  • Anthony Carboni here for DNews and Candy Crush is the current champ for most addictive to

  • the human population- it's got 93 million daily players and is installed on half a billion

  • people's phones. You probably either play it and love it, or played it, hated it, and

  • still played it longer than you meant to. What makes it so addictive?

  • Let's talk about the Skinner Box. The Skinner Box is an experiment where some sort of animal

  • in a small cage presses a lever and gets a treat. Or an electric shock. Researchers can

  • change how often a lever press results in a treat to do all kinds of things to the animal-

  • you could make it totally uninterested in the lever, or you could make it so the animal

  • obsessively presses it all the time. And neither has to mean the animal doesn't get shocked.

  • Get where I'm going?

  • Every time you win in a game, your brain gives you a little bit of dopamine. Some good reward

  • feelings. By keeping you winning early on and then making it harder and harder, games

  • trigger some addictive tendencies. It also makes losing hurt- you want to go back to

  • winning. Winning was awesome.

  • Free-to-play games like candy crush require some sort of currency like lives or energy.

  • Lose all your energy and WHOOPS, you can't play for a few hours. Unless you pay to do

  • it. This does two really nasty things to your brain.

  • If you don't pay for an extra turn, you're playing into something called hedonic adaptation.

  • Psychology of games wrote about an experiment- appropriately enough, involving candy. Subjects

  • were given a piece of chocolate to eat. Then, half the group was told not to eat anymore

  • chocolate for two weeks. The other half was given two pounds of chocolate and told "Yo,

  • enjoy this chocolate. ALL OF THIS CHOCOLATE." In two weeks, everyone was welcomed back and

  • offered a piece of chocolate. The people who abstained for two weeks loved the chocolate.

  • The people who were gorging for two weeks, unsurprisingly, weren't that into it. By restricting

  • your access to playing, Candy Crush makes you want to play it MORE.

  • But what if you're the sort of person who gorges themselves and pays for the extra turn?

  • You're probably experiencing gambler's fallacy. That's the idea that the more you try something,

  • the more the odds are that the outcome is in your favor. That's mathematically untrue.

  • If your odds of getting into a car accident are 1 in 10,000, it doesn't mean after 50

  • car rides your odds are 1 in 9,950. They reset every time. Pretty obvious. But our brain

  • gets confused when it comes to games because we believe in our talent. Our brains go particularly

  • crazy with activity for near-misses. You got SO CLOSE to winning last time. One more move

  • and you would've had it- and you're so in the zone that if you pay the $0.99 to skip

  • the waiting period you'll win! You know you'll win. You probably won't.

  • Games use tricks like this to keep you in your little skinner box, paying $0.99 at a

  • time for a free game until you've spent way more that you would've to buy an expensive

  • one that wasn't full of this stuff. Poor dumb brains.

  • There are games that use your brain's weaknesses for good. Jane McGonigal, the author of Reality

  • is Broken, created a site called SuperBetter that taps into these same behavior reinforcements

  • and habit-forming tendencies to make a game that actually helps people make good habits

  • and recover from injuries. Apps like Habit RPG turn todo lists into roleplaying games

  • where you get experience and level up. (

  • I tend to obsessively play manipulative games like Candy Crush for a day or two and then

  • get rid of them forever. What about you? Do you fall for this stuff? Let us know down

  • below and don't forget to check out my other show Hard Science if you dig builds and experiments.

  • This week we're making $20 cardboard boats and seeing which ones will keep the most people

  • afloat. Its at

If Candy Crush and other games feel like insidious mind control devices, it's only because they


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キャンディクラッシュはなぜ中毒性があるのか (Why Candy Crush Is So Addictive)

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    Aggie Chen に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日