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Flappy Bird and the Science of Game Addiction




Published under


Article by Jay Gory
Journalist
First it was BeJeweled, then Angry Birds, then Candy Crush, and now Flappy Bird. There always seems to be that one game, that fast paced, addictive, action packed game that one and all ones friends play whether ones a hardcore gamer or one hasn't bought a video game console for the home since the original Nintendo.

If one thinks back over the last few decades, video games have always had a weird relationship with mainstream success. In the 1970's, everyone played video games now and then at the arcade and on the Atari 2600. When the Nintendo Entertainment System rolled around, mom and dad might have enjoyed Mario and Zelda, but it was seen as a kid's hobby, and remained a niche market until the Internet, cell phones and tablets made it easy to play video games without the several-hundred dollar investment of a dedicated console.

However, some games still appeal to that niche market, while others, like Flappy Bird, have a broader appeal, bringing one back time and again to beat ones high scores, whether one owned every console since the Atari, or one barely touch games. It doesn't happen by accident.

"Without the right math," said technology expert Jason Hope, "you won't have a game that hooks players, and without the right feel, you won't have a game that's any fun."




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