Every time we level up in Final Fantasy or defeat a challenging boss in God of War, games are fulfilling our desire to feel competent.Our second psychological need is autonomy: the desire to feel independent or have a certain amount of control over our actions.This need pervades nearly every facet of our culture.The drive toward autonomy is why people instinctively dislike being manipulated; it’s why imprisonment is a punishment, and why we feel an innate urge to rebel against slavery.
People often view games as the opposite of work, but some sociologists believe games are an idealized form of work.
These needs can be fulfilled in any number of ways: through work, school, friends, sports, and hobbies.
However, sociologists are beginning to understand that video games are one of the most seductive of all of these activities because they fulfill our psychological needs more efficiently than almost any other activity.
“We all have basic psychological needs,” explains Rigby, who detailed gaming’s intrinsic allure in his book Glued to Games: How Videogames Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound.
“These needs operate all the time – when we’re at work, or when we’re engaging in a softball league, or on weekends while we are -playing a video game. Games perfectly target several of these needs.” According to Rigby, Immersyve’s complex needs-satisfaction metrics narrow down to three basic categories.