On Monday, Rowan Class were visited by Mr Munro, who came to give a talk about some of the dangers of computer and video games particularly those which are ‘free to play’. Mr Munro told the class that they were being sold as companies now employ psychologists and behaviour specialists who advise them how to keep people playing games. Often this comes in the form of small rewards which makes gamers think that they are succeeding, but this is a design! Mr Munro showed the class how psychologist F.B. Skinner conducted research on animals such as rats and birds. Skinner’s research showed:
1.Animals will do boring things for small rewards.
2.They will do it more for certain types of reward.
3.They develop a ‘fear of missing out’.
4.You get a bad reaction if you force them to stop.
5.It works on humans
Mr Munro argued that if you are aware of this design, then you will know when to walk away. He was clear that games can be highly stimulating, but there are also so many other things that you can do and there needs to be some sort of balance.
We would like to thank Mr Munro for his time and for giving such an interesting talk.