My Bookbag Seems To Be Missing

Hello. If you've recently found some odd books in a blue backpack, and then also spotted my name, and then found this website, then email me. I shall reward you handsomely. And of course pick up the books.


  1. Hello Neils. I do hope you found your bookbag? My heart goes out to you...that's very frustrating.

    I live in Minnesota...USA and am digging around looking for addictive elements that are purposely added to video games to entice people to play and/or return to the game. What are your thoughts to this?

    Sincerely, Joy

  2. Hey Joy,

    No luck with the bag, unfortunately. Nothing that wasn't in-print/replaceable, but there's something about losing a good book that I find inherently disheartening.

    My first question for a question: what are you ultimately digging for?

    You might contact my co-author for Game Addiction, Shavaun Scott. Along with her husband, they did a series of filmed interviews with different developers. Some said, "yes, absolutely, we design this in." Others, not so much. And I believe the others, at to some extent disbelieve the proclaimers, because a broad sense of even the word "addiction," escapes most people, let alone the ability to skillfully tap that like some long-forgotten spigot. Addiction is a broad concept, haunted at every side by folk psychology; commonly misunderstood by addicts, co-dependents, and regular folks alike. To say nothing of the press.

    There it's no surprise that the industry tends to be tight-lipped on addiction, though the comments that do slip out tend to be to the other direction from what you appear to be seeking. For instance, at the GDC a few years ago, a programmer from Blizzard (World of Warcraft fame) discussed examining "addiction," from the standpoint of reducing elements in their game that could cause problems, while preserving the game experience broadly. People still play WoW to some gross excesses. Why that happens is extremely complex, however, and in some ways fundamentally distinct from anything we'd commonly call addiction.

    If you're looking for something more specific, especially if your interest is academic, do shoot me an email. I'm sure we could hone in on a good answer.