When I first came across this list of psychological terms I thought that I had landed
on a joke site. Then I looked a few up in Google and low and behold, these are real terms
used in the medical profession. These terms are mostly regarding cell phones, but they
are relevant since more and more online game players are playing the games with their
phones rather than PC or laptop.
1. Nomophobia, short for: no-mobile-phone phobia, is the fear of not being able to use
your cell phone. This could be because of running our of minutes, poor location or low
battery, or whatever.
2. FOMO, short for: fear-of-missing-out, is the anxiety that one is missing out on an online
event, discussion on a social media site or anything that’s happening elsewhere.
3. IGD, short for: Internet Gaming Disorder is the most common problem with online games. It’s
the obsession or compulsion to play games for hours and the feeling that “I can’t stop yet,
it’s just too good!”.
Of course, these three terms are not the only medical terms regarding online games and
keep in mind that the World Health Organization has recently stated that playing online
games excessively is a real, valid mental health issue.
We have heard some real horror stories of punters having their winnings confiscated for
a flimsy reason and many players just not being able to withdraw their own winnings at
online gambling sites. The strategy on the side of the online casinos is that for as
long as your money is in your account, you are more likely to wager it. They are basically
forcing their players to bet their money.
That strategy has come to an end in the UK!
Due to a long list of complaints, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been
investigating the online casinos withdrawal policies. Working with the UK Gaming
Commission, the CMA has issued strong statements against some of the shady policies.
For Example, George Lusty, Senior Director for Consumer
Protection at the CMA, said:
“People choosing to gamble online should be able to walk
away with their own money whenever they want to.”
“Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play are the first to commit to
scrap their unfair withdrawal rules, but we expect companies
across the sector to follow suit so no-one gets caught out
with unfair terms and conditions when gambling online.”
Both organizations have said that online gambling firms that do not do away with
their unfair practices could face regulatory actions.
Many if not all free-to-play online games encourage the players to spend money during
the game by buying small enhancements for small fees. Simple and harmless, right? However,
the cleverness of the game developers seems endless when it comes to estracting more
and more money from the players.
Consider the so called ‘loot box’. In some games the loot box appears from time to time
during play with captions such as, ‘You could do better with some loot’ and it shows up
as a treasure chest in many games. It looks really cool and as though it might contain
some really valuable enhancements for the player. So, the player pays the small fee and
recieves some sort of minor game-enhancement at random.
Some say that since the loot box contains no skill to play, it’s akin to gambling which
is of course illegal. Others say that the loot box is taking advantage of players that
are addicted or ‘stuck’ on playing games with all their free time. Players are being
manipulated to spend more and more money on these microtransactions and there is no
regulation in place. And, let’s not forget, the game was promoted as free to play!
The US military needs a few good men and one of the best places to find them is
in the combat-game industry. After all, young people, especially male, that are
attracted to shooting, killing, throwing hand grenades, and firing artillary are
more likely to join the army, Marines, or SEALs than the kid reading a book in
According to Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) ethicist
and researcher, Professor Rob Sparrow:
“I don’t think they’re looking for the skill set as much as
the receptiveness to the message. If you’re fantasising about
this stuff (war games) it might seem plausible that you would
be willing to do it in real life. The military is also aware
that gaming is one of the main forms of media consumed by young
So, what’s the connection between the online combat games and the actually military?
In one word: advertising! The US defence department advertises on popular online
combat-gaming review websites like IGN and Neoseeker that feature military-style video
games.. Australia does the same thing and possibly a few other countries.
Usually the ads appear alongside a game review looking as though it’s part of the game’s
description, such as: “Experience military training”, “Make new friends” and “Earn a great salary”.
Is this child-manipulation or just clever recruitment?
Back in April of this year, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board sent out invitations to all of
it’s brick and mortor casinos to apply for the online license. The online license would allow slots,
table games, and poker at the cost of just $10,000,000 a pop. Not one land based casino sent in an
application until one week ago when six applications finally arrived on the Control Board’s desk.
Those applicants are:
- Parx Casino,
- Mount Airy Casino Resort,
- Live! Hotel & Casino,
- Rivers Casino,
- and the Hollywood Casino.
Instead of spending the $10 milion for the whole package, the ‘Board’ is also offering individual
gambling product licenses for $4m apiece. Industry experts are saying that the ‘high to get in’ price
was the cause of the delayed applications, but once one applied, the others followed. There is also
the very high tax rate of 54% on online slots and 36% on sports betting.
Next month the Control Board will invite entities that have no casino license, but are qualified
in other ways to apply for these online casino licenses. That offering could make the casino industry
in Pennsylvania very interesting.
Some Fortnite fans will say: “Sad, but true”, but hey, the developers want to have something for
everyone, right? That’s how to keep the masses! Fortnite has updated their store with ‘Spandex Squad
Gear’ and that means two new outfits for the players to choose. Other additions are a new glider
and a new harvesting tool.
Though Fortnite is one of the most popular multiplayer games online, there might be a few people
that are not familiar with it. Fortnite is developed by Epic Games and published in different
versions that have different goals, but the same basic gameplay. There is the Save The World
package which is a shooter-survival game with up to four players. Then there is the ever more
popular Battle Royale where 100 players are dropped on a shrinking island and fight each other for food,
water, weapons, etc. etc.
As most of you will realize, the two new spandex outfits are based on 1980s fashions: big hair, mullets,
and the aerobics style spandex clothing. These skins won’t come cheap though. The Aerobic Assassin and
Mullet Marauder cost 1,500 V-Bucks. By comparison, the other updates are cheap: only 500 V-Bucks for the
Windbreaker glider and another 500 V-Bucks for the Axercise havesting tool.
Guerrilla Games is hiring and they are specifically looking for applicants that have ‘game shipping’
experience. Just in case you are not familiar with Guerrilla Games, they are responsible for the
wildly successful game Horizon: Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games is based in the Netherlands and recently
moved into a much bigger building. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment,
employs approximately 270 people, and is led by Hermen Hulst.
It’s just another job listing, right? Well, game industry experts are speculating that Guerrilla Games
is doing more than just developing a sequel to it’s hit Horizon: Zero Dawn. There are rumors that the
company might be moving toward creating a multiplayer version of Zero Dawn because they recently hired
the game director that worked on Rainbow Six Siege, another very popular game.
The job list that we are referring to is listed on the company’s website and the position is ‘UI Designer’
with experience ‘shipping network enabled code’. So, the industry rumormongers are speculating that if you
combine the recent hire of the above ‘game director’ with the new job listing mentioned here, you have
a situaltion that appears to support a multiplayer version of Horizon: Zero Dawn and that’s what the
players are waiting for.