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At Diablo Immortal there is a lot of discussion about Pay2Win, over 100,000 dollars for a high-end character and about microtransactions, the costs of which have long since had nothing to do with »micro«.
But Immortal also illustrates a general misery of Free2Play games: So that we play as much and as long as possible, Blizzard relies on psychological optimization, on stimuli that bypass our conscious thinking and inject happiness hormones directly into our brain.
Micha analyzes how these addiction mechanisms work in the podcast with Dr. Daniel Illy. Daniel is senior physician for adolescent psychology and psychiatry at a clinic near Berlin, author of several psychotherapeutic guides on the subject Video Game Addiction – and he’s a player himself and is currently slaughtering his way through Diablo Immortal.
Even if he doesn’t really like it, because Immortal annoys him.
Together we talk about:
- the power of red diamonds
- “fixing” on petty rewards
- the audiovisual stimuli when finding prey
- nested currencies and obfuscated costs
- psychological tricks in the online store
- and more
All episodes and formats in our new podcast overview
Very important: Of course, all these tricks are not only used on Diablo Immortal, but in many Free2Play games.
With Diablo, there is only one thing that is unique to the brand: its focus on collecting loot already throws us into a mathematical-mechanical addiction loop, which Blizzard now simply imposes even more reward mechanisms on in Immortal.
This does not necessarily create a risk of dependency – for healthy people. In vulnerable people, however, such mechanisms can promote addictive behavior. And that’s the really perfidious thing: Free2Play games use our own vulnerability, our weakness for commercial purposes.
We have to talk about it, otherwise others will do it.
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