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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Are we falling into a trap of addiction with this game? addicts?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Are we falling into a trap of addiction with this game? addicts?

    I've just realized that I've been playing this game for roughly 6 years, with maybe a year off in that period only due to lack of internet. It started out when the 2nd gen 2013 Nexus 7 came out and was given to me as a christmas gift. That christmas holiday week I saw many ads on TV of Clash of Clans and into the new year of 2014. It was the first app of very few I installed on the Nexus 7 and the only one I ever really used.

    I never really thought of a video game as being an addiction because you tend to finish the game. However with this game it's different. This game has a structure to it that conditions you in a way to never want to leave and to keep coming back. I don't mean to put any blame on Supercell at least not in large part. All they did was create a fun albeit slow paced time consuming and sometimes frustrating game that they continue to refresh with content updates. And well that unexpected lucky 3 star can feel quite rewarding.

    The Lure:
    The game feels new and adventurous like you're discovering something for the first time. The general chat when it still existed gave isolated players a sense of connection to the outside world, but mostly a place for all to gripe, vent, bully, or troll. The game has a strategic aspect to it so that you feel like you're using your brain. It was the new cool and popular thing, even celebrities were playing it like in the ads. Everyone's doing it.

    The Never Ending Chase:
    That illusion of ever maxing out your base. The ever increasing upgrade times with the new levels. The long wait for troop training and hero recovery. The never ending next button in search of loot to upgrade expensive buildings or units. Oh! The walls! Can't forget the walls and how they aren't released completely because then you might actually max out your base and game over and quit. But! Hold on. New content and update just in. The chase is not over.

    The Nearly Impossible Quit:
    It gets increasingly impossible to quit the longer you play. You meet clan mates and form a clan. Are you just going to quit on them and the clan? What about all the time you invested? Are you going to throw that all away? What about all the money you invested? Me personally I never paid money but I paid with time. Except on my 2nd donor account I purchased the kingly offer. Do you really want to leave the game when you're so close to maxing out?

    Conclusion: Remember, if it's hard to quit, it might be addictive.
    How ever you got into this game, you probably never thought you would invest this much of yourself into it. You figured it was a harmless game. But this game dangles a carrot in front of you to chase and if you ever do get that carrot, well a new carrot in the form of new content and updates takes it's place. Maybe you want to quit but what about all that effort you put in to chasing that carrot.

    If you are someone who is avoiding social situations or difficult things or avoiding responsibilities, this game will completely enable you and drag you in with no exits in sight.
    Some people might say that the game brings enjoyment to you, but compared to what? Something stressful?
    I think the real question might be whether the game brings some form of meaning to your life. This game is only a game, the real game is life, real life.

    The ways to quit that I can think of are quite limited. There's quitting cold turkey but you might relapse. You can try to come to the realization as to what the game is structured to be and lose taste for it. You can find some other interest that is less addictive and has a definitive ending to it. Whatever the method you need to strengthen your will.

    If you can keep this game in check, by all means play it. But if you find that it has a hold over you, you need to reflect on yourself. Because the structure of this game, at least to me, I find it to be an addictive structure.

    So my final thought is this. What ever addictions or distractions there are that you face, make sure you recognize them for what they are. Move those non-consequential things to the side and grab life by the horns and ride it hard into the next day. By that, make the most of your day with what you have.

    Thanks for reading,
    Self-proclaimed Shirker working on being an Ex.

    P.S. Apologies. This rant is more for me than for anyone else.

  2.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #2
    SharkyFinn's Avatar
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    If you feel you're suffering from an addiction, I hope you will seek out a licensed professional. Video game addicition is a very real thing, and I'm a little surprised that you wouldn't have heard of it before. Humans can feel trapped by an addiction to many things other than the traditional vices. People have experienced addictions to everything from food (Contact the National Eating Disorders Association) to running (Healthline: Dangers of Running Addiction). It's not just the things you enjoy, either. Some have addictions to harfmul things such as swallowing objects (Learn about pica) or harming themselves (Crisis Text Line: Self-Harm). I can't stress enough that if you worry that things are getting out of control, they probably are, and you should definitely seek professional help with it.

    Where I think Supercell deserves a lot of credit is the steps they've taken to keep players from becoming too engrossed in the game. Don't overlook the huge difference in the game today from when you could spend endless hours sniping townhalls. You cited the lure of global chat, but like the revamped shield and trophy system that ended sniping, Supercell has scrapped global chat. You also cited that you can't upgrade all the walls (you actually can now), but that's not an attempt to create an unhealthy addiction. That's an attempt to keep players from spinning through the game at a too-frenetic pace where they either burn themselves out or they become bored with nothing to do. They want players to pace themselves for the long road, not spend endless hours, day and night seeking more and more. There are many mechanisms in the game that reinforce that, everything including the personal break timer, troop training times, hero regeneration times, troop request times, multiplayer searches, the fixed 2-day pace of Clan Wars, the scheduled release of events on the season road, spaced out content releases, etc. The game also keeps higher level players from beating up on much lower levels in multiplayer as well as in wars, so there isn't a great urgency to upgrade quickly in order to stand a chance. There are many players who enjoy the game as a Townhall 8 or 9 and are unperturbed that there are 4 or 5 higher Townhall levels.

    This is not a game that you "tend to finish" any more than any other activity or service you enjoy. I knew it wasn't that kind of game when I joined, which was probably around the same time as you. The original game started with eight townhalls, and they had released Townhall 9 in October 2012 and Townhall 10 in May 2013. In fact, I began playing specifically to be part of a game that would have regular updates and would continue on. I also didn't expect to be playing this long, but it wasn't because I thought I'd reach some kind of end. I figured I'd either get bored or I'd get so mad at it, I'd quit, because that was my experience with other games previously. There were many games then, and there continue to be games today, where their tournaments consist of an entire weekend of playing, all day and all night. I came from a game that functioned like that before I started playing Clash and I'm currently active in a word puzzle game that still runs this way.

    Moderation is the key. There's no reason you can't play moderately, even if you play every day. I still enjoy it very much and I've never been a big resource miner. I just like to solve puzzles and complete tasks. I've found that just completing the assigned tasks (season road, Clan Games) and participating in wars allows me to progress enough to keep a village maxed. The pace seems right on par with comfortable, regular play. If anything, I spend more time on the forum than I ever do in-game.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrosetentoes View Post
    Remember, if it's hard to quit, it might be addictive.
    Or, it could be just something you enjoy. I don't quit reading books or playing golf or enjoying movies. I also don't plan to quit playing this game as long as I enjoy it.

    Contact SC here. Click here for how trophies are calculated. An idea to improve legends here. I wish max players had a separate loot bank as described here. Caution, I often discuss for the sake of discussion and enjoy having my opinion challenged (or approved of) even when I care little about the actual issue. My balance wish: get rid of tornado trap, make it a decoration.

  4. #4
    Forum Legend Piper139's Avatar
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    I did quit another game similar to this. I found it taking over completely. A good bit of that was game design. It required binge sessions much like clash in the old days. I had 2 top level bases, spent way more money and time on it and led two squads. When I found myself planning work and, worse, family around the game, I quit. Uninstalled and walked away. If it get to feel the same way about clash, I will do the same.
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  5. #5
    Most human activities have a reward system that will make your brain feel good for achieving an accomplishment.
    Grades, titles, medals... That's how everything around us is designed, because that's how our brain works.
    This is the reason why It's possible to get addicted to work, bodybuilding, karate, photography, social media, videogame... And so on.
    If you feel some activity you practice isn't bringing benefits for your life, you should reconsider your habits.
    Remember: digital games are always supposed to be fun.
    About my personal relationship with the game: I already played clash of clans at very different intensities. On my last vacation I was in a hardcore clan (top 30 champions 1 at cwl). Now I'm working and studying again, so I don't even login everyday. Sometimes I do it once a week. Since my life is more rushed nowadays, I don't see myself playing much more than I'm playing today in the near future, and that's ok.
    So answering the question if this topic: I don't think there is any trap. But people should always be aware if their relationship with any activity they practice is healthy. This includes everything you do, including digital games.
    Last edited by CHANDRIANO; December 2nd, 2020 at 10:32 PM.

  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #6
    SharkyFinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHANDRIANO View Post
    But people should always be aware if their relationship with any activity they practice is healthy. This includes everything you do, including digital games.
    I agree. The other thing that makes me cringe, and did again when I read it in the OP, is this concept of "investing" time or money in a mobile game. You don't own anything in the game (it's a service under the dominion of Supercell). Any time or money spent on this game should be considered used for the immediate enjoyment of the service. Outside of content creators and championship-level players, few players "invest" (expense with the expectation of profit or material result) anything in the game any more than the average viewer invests their time and money into watching TV. They can get the biggest television and best sound system, access to every streaming service, and binge watch 24-7, but unless they're a paid television critic, they're not investing. They're just filling hours.
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  7. #7
    Forum Veteran jaronhudson15's Avatar
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    I had videogame addiction when I was young. You'll know you have an addiction when it's all you think about and care to do, even at work or during other activities.

    I remember having a clash addiction around four or five years ago; I couldn't focus on my school work, I was obsessed with getting good and being the best clasher in the school, and I'd always scarf down dinner at the table really fast so I could go back to clash and other games.

    Personally, though, this unhealthy obsession has happened with other games, too. Fortunately, I didn't become overweight, but I became thin and weak instead from a sedentary lifestyle.

    Videogame addictions tend to occur more during childhood and adolescence if there isn't anything else that engages the reward centers in the brain; if it's mostly from videogames, it's almost always going to be from videogames until other habits are sought after.

    I grew out of it. I have other big responsibilities and I don't have the desire to play as many games as I used to. Too many stresses in my normal weeks to worry about having to hop on a game.
    Last edited by jaronhudson15; December 3rd, 2020 at 05:11 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 2222 View Post
    Or, it could be just something you enjoy. I don't quit reading books or playing golf or enjoying movies. I also don't plan to quit playing this game as long as I enjoy it.
    I think those things are a bit different. A book ends on the last page, golf ends after the 18th hole, and a movie ends after the credits. This game on the other hand has no end in sight as far as we know. I'm glad you enjoy the game but that doesn't mean that the game doesn't have an addictive design to it.

  9. #9
    Millennial Club maximooze007's Avatar
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    I admit I'm addicted to this game, but the same with Piper, I was on the same shoes, I decided to quit some games that either takes a lot of my time or takes a lot of my money, or takes both. I found this game having the sweet spot I needed to stay addicted while having to continue my life in balance, enough time to spend in-game (for the record I'm taking all the heavy lifting in my clan), pretty balance in-game purchases that doesn't force me to buy while having the mindset that I can reach the endgame without spending almost everything. But also like what piper said, if there's a slight changes to this game that tilts that balance or the "sweet spot", I'm gonna walk away, I can pretty much sure feel that changes when it happens.
    Last edited by maximooze007; December 3rd, 2020 at 05:17 AM.

  10. #10
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    Regretting an addiction is always better than denying one. You are one step in the good direction.

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