Newsweek rates Facebook's 'most addictive games', the most fun epidemic in years

I'd rather be farming
I'd rather be farming

Newsweek recently took a look at the metrics they believe imply are Facebook's most addictive games including staples like Zyngas' FarmVille and Mafia Wars as well as gems like Bejeweled Blitz from Popcap and Mindjolt's Bouncing Balls. But are the numbers behind social games enough to say whether they're addictive? If the numbers indicate anything more than gamers simply enjoying games, then we might have an epidemic afflicting 160 million on our hands.

Well, if you're in Dr. Hilarie Cash's camp, who claims that social games are addictive by design, then this is most likely true. If Cash is right, then it's possible that we're all 'addicted' to Facebook games on varying levels solely by virtue of their design. But is it truly addiction that makes social games so popular or is it the basic reward structure in which social games operate? Maybe the gameplay structure of task and reward is inherently gripping.

While some cases of gaming addiction are pretty cut and dry, perhaps it's a personal realization of a negative impact. In a recent survey by Lightspeed Research, 19 percent of Facebook gamers admitted to being addicted. (And that doesn't account for how many who could be in denial.)

Boy, we Americans sure are hooked on a lot of stuff.

Do you think social games are inherently addictive? Is this problem going to grow even larger as the digital age presses on? Speak your mind in the comments. Add Comment.