A new study has revealed that social simulations are the most addictive genre, following the announcement of a brand new Sims 5 game.
Video games even in their simplest forms like puzzles still can hook players in for hours at a time. But why is this? What compels gamers to come back, even when they know that they have perhaps spent a little bit too much time staring at the screen.
To understand the addictive qualities of video games, the research team at Private Rehab Clinic, Delamere has uncovered the most addictive genres based on player reviews.
From analysing different gaming genres, research undertaken by Delamere reveals that Social Simulation games are considered to be the most addictive, with 5.08% of reviews containing the word ‘addictive’.
The Sims and Animal Crossing fall into the category of Social Simulation – with the term referring to games that focus on communication between multiple artificial lives. These are often open-ended games , which provide players with the freedom and control to do what they would rarely or never be able to achieve in real life, which is a highly addictive feature.
Next up was MOBA, which had 3.58% reviews stating the term ‘addictive’. Competitive and fast-paced, this genre scored even higher than MMORPGs – which racked up 0.82% of addictive reviews and came sixth on the list.
First Person Shooter (0.75%) and Tactical Shooter games (0.55%) emerged as number seven and eight, respectively.
When players shoot another during a game, their bodies release dopamine and serotonin, which will often cause them to take pleasure from the act.
There are many aspects of video games that can cause dependency, Martin Preston, founder and chief executive at Delamere, explains: ‘One of the most addictive features of games is that many do not have pre-defined ends – this is most common in MMORPG games.’
‘What this means, is that the player does not get to a point where they have ‘completed’ every challenge or task, which brings the game to a natural end and allows them to move on. Instead, they are presented with continual challenges and tasks to overcome that keep them coming back again and again.’
‘High scores, are another feature within games that make them so addictive. Gamers will often try to beat their high score or try to beat a competitor, which can keep them engrossed for hours. The competitive nature of these games makes them extremely addictive for users.’
‘Another addictive element is the social aspect of online games. While we were plunged deep into lockdown, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released. A life simulation game, that allowed people to complete everyday tasks, such as shopping and gardening, from their own homes.’
‘It even allowed people to connect socially, by visiting each other’s islands. Normality was something we were uncertain about and, despite the fact the lockdown has been lifted, many people may feel more comfortable remaining in their gaming bubble.’