The brain game: What causes engagement and addiction to video games?

History tells us that games are an inseparable facet of humanity, and mainly for good reasons. Advocates of video games laud their pros: they help develop problem-solving skills, socialize, relieve stress, and exercise the mind and body—all at the same time! However, games also have a dark side: the potential for addiction. The explosive growth of the video game industry has spawned all sorts of games targeting different groups of people. This includes digital adaptations of popular board games like chess, but also extends to gambling-type games like online casinos and betting on horse races. While virtually all engaging forms of entertainment lend themselves to addictive behavior under specific circumstances, some video games are more commonly associated with addiction than others. But what exactly makes these games so potentially addictive?

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