What makes games addictive?

(Hint: It's not the taste!) Video game addiction is a topic that tends to occupy the attention of the mainstream media any time there's a slow news day, and even sometimes (like yesterday, for instance) when it's not. Videogames; how they're making junkies of your kids, news at 11! It's an issue that we here at Massively are quite sensitive to, and we've written about it it again and again and again.

So imagine our delight when MSNBC, being the paragons of gaming wisdom that they are, took a crack at the subject, trying to to discern what combination of elven temptresses and subliminal messages will get people hooked on games, and MMOs in particular. Their answer, not surprisingly, is that MMOs offer an extremely gratifying system of toil and reward that keep players coming back for that next achievement. And when people are bereft of strong social ties in their work-a-day lives, they're susceptible to becoming addicted. Excuse us if we don't recoil in shock and surprise.
This article was originally published on Massively.