James Morgan

Document Type

Final Class Paper

Publication Date

Fall 12-2017


Operant conditioning, 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 sprung alongside video games, the question must be asked: how are video games affecting today's people? With the current way some video games are structured, the video game rewards players for achieving certain accomplishments. For example, competitive video games reward players who achieve victories by giving them a higher ranking or other games display the player's score so that other players can see their score. With this in mind, some video game players may place more emphasis on their gaming achievements rather than their happiness or success in their own real lives. Once this emphasis has been placed, video game players have a chance to become addicted to their respective game; however, a distinction must be set between video game addiction and operant conditioning. Opereant conditioning is a video game design that many of today's video games utilize. The use of operant conditioning towards a gamer can be one of the factors contributing towards video game addiction; operant conditioning is the strategy while video game addiction can be the byproduct of operant conditioning.