Edward Loveall

The Stages of Video Game Obsession

While playing a video game, I’ve noticed that I’m usually experiencing one of five stages:

Ramp up

This consists of character creation, tutorials, looking up what things mean, and other beginner tasks. It’s often hard to get past this stage, but my initial excitement (and money spent) usually gets me through it.

Totally obsessed

I can’t stop thinking about this game. It’s all I want to do or read about. Left to my own devices, I would just play it all day, nonstop. I want everyone around me to play it too so I have more excuses to play and talk about it.

Good fun

I like playing the game and still choose to spend time on it. There are many fun challenges left to overcome, but I can also enjoy other activities. When with friends, I still enjoy talking about the game, but I don’t feel the urge to constantly bring it up.

Tedious grind

This happens when I feel I have a few challenges left I want to complete, but I start questioning if it’s worth the time. I still might complete them, and the reward might even feel good, but it often does not justify the work to get there.

Not fun

I’m sick of the game. I am uninterested in playing because it would be boring with little to no reward. I can find myself here if a friend wants me to play with them after I’ve completed the game.

I find that these stages are pretty common and I experience most of them with most video games. If the game is really good about effortlessly teaching you how to play, the first step feels like the second, and that’s really nice. AAA games are often (but not always) pretty bad at this step and can overwhelm you at first.

Your mileage may vary, of course.