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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Field of screens

 
 

Facebook is a useful social networking tool and can help people organize social or study get-togethers, but it comes with a hefty price. Regardless of willpower, Facebook has the ability to suck people into a deep time hole, draining away precious hours of the day with nothing to show for it, particularly with games.
“I have found myself sitting at my computer playing pointless games for hours instead of doing the things that needed to get done,'” said Melissa Dye, a freshman general studies major.
Unfortunately Melissa is the rule, not the exception. Every day I check my news feed and find someone is movin’ on up in FarmVille, has achieved a new battle rank in Castle Age, or wants to give me some Farkle chips.
Facebook games are crazy addictive, and can easily suck up several hours of your day. Research into addictiveness of video games is a new field, considering the newness of online video games to begin with and their rapid development.
“I realized that I was not getting enough sleep and was not getting all of my stuff done,” Dye said.
The addictiveness of Facebook games is quite puzzling, especially since the games aren’t good. They have terrible graphics, horrid animation and usually don’t have any aspect of skill attached.
But the absence of skill requirement is exactly what gives many Facebook games success. Video games have contained aspects of skill development or careful thought, if not both, since pong. By creating games that anyone can play, companies like Zynga, which runs more than a dozen games on Facebook, have broken out of the typical gamer market and attracted those who otherwise wouldn’t play video games.
Worst of all, many of the games are literally endless. Because of various downtimes from running out of energy or waiting for crops to grow, it essentially stops you from playing past a certain length of time. However, due to the way some of these games are designed, this can be several hours. Because of the downtimes, there is a sense of obligation to exhaust whatever resources are at your disposal, for efficiency’s sake, as resources are usually invested somehow to produce greater resources later.
At the heart of these games, as with all things in society, is the quest to take your money. Most people have the common sense not to spend money on such garbage games, but some succumb to the addiction so deeply that they might spend real money in order to get these virtual resources. This is the purpose of almost all of these games in some way or another, unless advertisements are tied in.
Despite the lack of chemical dependency, Facebook games can be one of the more difficult addictions to quit. It takes above all else is simply recognition of how much time it absorbs, and the desire to stop. As nothing ingested or otherwise entering your body, the addiction is psychological.
“I limited the amount of time I was allowed to spend on Facebook a day. It really wasn’t that hard, I just kind of told myself to quit playing them and so I did,” Dye said.
To everyone out there who uses Facebook and has yet play one of these games, don’t. They’re poor wastes of your time, and once you start, it’s hard to realize you need to stop. Now if you’ll excuse me, my stamina has probably refilled.
Steven Laxton is a freshman electrical engineering major.

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