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Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2

 
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SuperTimo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:52 am Post subject: No icon Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

*Disclaimer: This is not a PROPER psychological study about TF 2 but quite interesting conjecture.*

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1826692

Yes it's from Steam forums, will wonders never end? Shocked

For those who can't be bothered to read it here's a few bullet points:

-TF 2 utilizes basic human psychological processes to keep players "hooked".

-There's this thing called "sunk costs". Basically, the more you spend on something the more important it becomes to you. Well duh? In us humans this has the sometimes unfortunate effect of making us keep doing things we don't even really like just so we wouldn't have to face up to the fact that we've wasted our time/money/energy.

-How this relates to TF 2 (according to the poster): People spend time, effort and in some cases even money to gain new items and hats in TF 2. The amounts spent can be considerable. This can lead to the event where a person keeps playing TF 2 not because he or she enjoys it but simply because there's too much invested in the game, and quitting would cause too much pain of loss.

Interesting stuff I think. And before you object, please do note that this doesn't and isn't supposed to apply to ALL players (or at least I think it shouldn't, can't say what the OP thinks). I'm fairly certain it's possible to have played over 1000 hours of TF 2 and still keep playing it for reasons other than sunk costs. But this does make for an interesting explanation for some cases, and like it is said in the Steam forums post it applies to all areas of life really, not just TF 2. I know I've fallen victim to the sunk costs fallacy many times myself  Embarassed

But the main reason I find this interesting is that TF 2, or multiplayer games in general, would make for very interesting subjects of psychological study! It's an area that's still relatively new and unexplored, and lets face it: TF 2 is all about psychology. It's what wins or loses rounds (in addition to random crits ofc Wink  ) So be warned! Once the time comes all of you shall be my little test subjects  :twisted:



Seriously, read the Steam forums post. I'm going to study now  Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:06 am Post subject: No icon Re: Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

That's not my case.

I play to "level up" my own skill, not because I invested stuff or I expect more item drops or more hats...

Quote:
I'm fairly certain it's possible to have played over 1000 hours of TF 2 and still keep playing it for reasons other than sunk costs

Over 1500 hours of TF2 bout now...
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:47 am Post subject: No icon Re: Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

Good find, however those are nothing new.

I've read an article couple years ago about a guy with his serious addiction to some mmorpg and it included some description of the methods some games utilize to get you "hooked". That article was more accurate and better written in general, wish I remembered where I read it.

Also I find it strange how he explains TF2's sunk cost "strategy" with all the hats and unlocks as if they existed from the very start of the game.

On a second note I do think that the majority of the "old" TF2 players play the game not because they care about the hats and weapons but because they most likely found a community or a good server which became part of their life or everyday routine you name it.

I tried to leave the game but I think I can now confess I've failed. But this is because I missed the everyday routine of playing with the same names, not the game itself.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:23 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

Hesitater wrote (View Post):
because I missed the everyday routine of playing with the same names, not the game itself.


Same here :)

I doubt Valve guessed how popular TF 2 would become, or how popular the hats would become. Needless to say they've made it into quite a success business-wise now with the hat store, and while I could never see myself paying for that stuff that's just personal preference. IF I had spent tens of euros on hats/weapons I doubt it would make it easier to stop playing Smile So I do think this guy might be onto something, though even if he is it only explains one reason why people keep playing. I'd say that having a good community and friends to play with is much stronger incentive to stay than money or time spent. But everyone has their own reasons Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:21 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

Playtime: Somewhere at 1200 Hours.

All money I've spent on TF2 was the Orange Box retail price and a 5 Euro fund I once added to my Steam wallet which I used to buy some duel games and donated towards a mapmaker. (Look how Im making excuses).:D

I do think I could've spent those 1200 hours much better, with learning or sports. But on the other hand: except a few minutes of raging I don't regret a bit. It just gave me something I've been always looking for. It always helped me steer away from my real life problems or to let go of the stress at work.

It is like going to the pub in the evenings with a few friends of mine.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:25 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

And much cheaper than spending 1200 hours in a pub  Very Happy I think that if you spend hundreds or thousands of hours doing something that's not strictly necessary, sooner or later you'll start wondering why. We all have our reasons.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:57 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Interesting post about the psychology of TF 2 Reply with quote

Store is relatively new, yet probably the most effective way to keep some players in. Once they've put a huge amount of money, they really can't just stop playing it. But the way Valve kept players in it in the first place is pretty genius really. Releasing constant updates after the game started losing its player base and got a huge amount of new players instead. At this point the profit from TF2 was pretty small, but at the same Valve got new customers lured to Steam. Kept on doing that until it wasn't profitable anymore and meanwhile introduced the drop system, which itself was a powerful way to keep people interested and playing from week to week and the hats just drove people nuts. The store was a bold but a clever move from them, now TF2 may be a farmville to a marginal group of players that keep valve fat and the rest of us can keep enjoying the game Razz

PS. I've never paid a single dime of TF2 myself, got it as a gift from a friend, to be honest I've profited about 10 pounds of it (for selling my spare hats to some steam friend that kept nagging me for a trade), then again I donated that straight to THG so I'm not entirely a bad person. Very Happy
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