Why Idle Games Are So Addictive?

Idle games create a unique and mysterious world with simple but still fascinating gameplay. They gained huge popularity very swiftly. However, these games did not utilize traditional gaming strategies and tactics. Then, what is the secret of their success? Why are the gamers not bored and continue to play? Let us reveal the truth.

The gaming process and our psychology

What is so attractive about these games? There are numerous reasons, but two of them play a key role in terms of human psychology.

The Skinner box

This is the first argument in all the discussions related to the topic of idle games. The experimental boxes were named after the scientist B.F. Skinner, and were initially developed for the research of the behavioral peculiarities of animals.

Such a chamber typically contained an animal that performs an action and then instantly received a reward. For example, some sweet food was given for pressing the button. Through some period of time, the animal mastered the mechanism of response. That means that it continued to do the same action, even if a reward comes randomly or after some long time. That is how the addiction mechanism works.

The same analogy is nowadays used for all systems that reward gamers periodically for repeated actions. They all are called Skinner boxes due to the appearance of the neurological feedback and addictive effect.

Such a process is obvious in idle games. The gamer makes something (press a button or wait) and periodically gets a reward for it. Actually, it is not always a bad thing and the mechanic itself can be useful. Many developers utilize it to teach players how certain actions are performed. The gamer can understand the way to the proper play while getting positive or negative results after his action. In idle games, this mechanic is just more obvious.

More or less

The second reason for the addictive nature of this entertainment is the wish to accumulate more and the fear to lose something that all people have. Our brain hates to lose and at the same time has a strong desire to accumulate things.

Idle games can play on both sides:

  • On the one hand, the amount of the currency is constantly increasing, even when the gamer is not present, and the fear of loss subsides. No matter what you do just now, you are not going to lose anything in your gaming world.
  • The total number of your earnings in the game grows and it provides you with pleasure. Your brain does not care that anything actually happens in the real life. The numbers are growing and only that fact matters.

Inside the clicker, the player is constantly getting some points and this contributes to his feeling of success and happiness.

In a nutshell, we can assume that idle games are addictive because they are so simple and brings us happiness so easily. That is really hard to achieve in the real life and that is why so many people waste their time playing them.