Posted in: Gaming

Candy Crush Saga Really Is Addictive, Like Gambling [NSFW Video]

We all know Candy Crush Saga is addictive, if we use Facebook, based on the posts of others who admit shame and inability to quit as they beg for in-game concessions to keep going — but the buzz may not all be hyperbole.

Candy Crush‘s addictive nature is something anyone who has encountered the game’s name on Facebook or Twitter has probably heard, but if you’ve not fallen into the trap of playing, you probably don’t really have any idea how or why grown adults are getting sucked into the quagmire of playing the social casual game.

Business Insider recently did a piece about the true addictive nature of Candy Crush saga, like games such as FarmVille and Tap Fish before it, and as it turns out — it’s kind of not a joke. (How addictive? More than half a mil a day addictive.)

A lot of the article leans on an earlier Gamasutra piece about Candy Crush addiction, in which the brain-related impetus behind such a strange compulsion is laid bare:

“A coercive monetization model depends on the ability to ‘trick’ a person into making a purchase with incomplete information, or by hiding that information such that while it is technically available, the brain of the consumer does not access that information… Research has shown that putting even one intermediate currency between the consumer and real money, such as a “game gem” (premium currency), makes the consumer much less adept at assessing the value of the transaction. Additional intermediary objects, what I call ‘layering,’ makes it even harder for the brain to accurately assess the situation, especially if there is some additional stress applied.”

BI quotes expert Miguel Sicart, who explains that whether or not profiting off Candy Crush addiction is ethical, the problems are there regardless:

“When a game is designed to create a shallow but rewarding compulsion loop, and makes the player pay to stay in the zone where that compulsion is satisfying, then I think some problems arise, regardless of this activity being addiction or not.”

One Twitter user this morning tweeted about observing Candy Crush addiction in friends:

Do you think Candy Crush Saga addiction is too hard for players too resist, like slot machines or poker?

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