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Operant Conditioning And Video Game Addiction

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An analysis of Operant Conditioning and its Relationship with Video Game Addiction

A report published by the Entertainment Software Association revealed that in 2015, 155 million Americans play video games with an average of two gamers in each game-playing household (Entertainment Software Association, “Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry”). With this massive popularity that has come alongside video games in mind, the question is raised: how are video games affecting today's people? With the current way video games are structured, the game rewards players for achieving certain accomplishments e.g. competitive video games reward players who achieve victories with a higher ranking. With this in mind, some gamers may place more emphasis on their gaming achievements rather than their happiness or success in the real life. This in turn might cause a gamer to become addicted; however, a distinction must be set between video game addiction and operant conditioning. Operant conditioning towards a gamer can be one of the factors contributing towards video game addiction; they are not the same thing. Before one talks about video games, they must first know what a game is. Games are “closed,formal systems that engages players in structured conflict and resolves its uncertainty in an unequal outcome” (Fullerton,47). Games are closed in the fact that once engaged in the game, the player sets asides their rules for their daily life and accepts the rules of
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