Addiction Is Never A Good Thing, Even In iOS Gaming

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines addiction as “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something .or do something”. There’s no good side to addiction, and the definition specifically uses the word “harmful”. For some unknown reason, addiction has come up as a positive word to describe games. Dong Nguyen, the maker of Flappy Bird, said one of the main reasons he removed his game from the App Store was because, “it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem”. No matter if that was his real reason, or there was an ulterior motive, he is exactly right. Sadly, there are many people who had become addicted to Flappy Bird, and they still may be as previous owners of the game can still play it.

Addictive has been used to describe a number of iOS games these days, and it’s unimaginable how that’s a good way to describe a game. It’s great for most developers to create an engaging nature, especially if there’s a free to play mechanic to get people to keep coming back. The interesting aspect of free to play games if that they refer to their players as “users”, which is an apt description, and perfectly ties into addiction. Whether it’s drugs, gambling, or now iOS gaming an addiction can be a real problem that can hurt your financial, emotion, and physical state. That hasn’t stopped a wide range of iOS games from using “addictive” in their descriptions, and a search for “addictive” in the App Store brings up tons of popular games as well as those that use the word right in their title.

It’s time to stop using the word addictive in any positive light, no matter how enjoyable a game may be. Also, it’s worth classifying true addiction when it comes to games, as simply playing a game and losing track of time doesn’t qualify. When you start to think about the game when you’re not playing it, and then have an urge to start playing, or keep playing, then you’re encroaching upon addictive territory. Addiction can happen to anyone, but those more prone to addiction in other areas may find games easier to become addicted to. Whether it’s Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, or another game, it’s not better to be addicted to a game than any other outlet. If you’re sacrificing time, relationships, and your mood then it’s time to seek help even from friends, and loved ones.

If you had become addicted to Flappy Bird, or any game, take a step back, put the game down, and think about anything else. Start to put the game in perspective, and decide what it really means to you. Is your high score really that important? Also, getting rid of Flappy Bird, and turning to another game doesn’t fix the problem. If you become so frustrated with a game to toss your phone across the room, then how do you accept failure in the real world. Games may seem simple, sweet, and fun on the surface, but if they bring negative emotions to the surface, then you may need to really step back, and see what the root cause is.

Addiction will always bring harm, and is not the way to “play” any game. Again, these games are meant to be played, not obsessed with, and we hope you can see the difference, and take a small step in changing your habits accordingly. Addiction can be of overall phone use, and not just games too. Try to turn your phone off, and put it in another room for an hour, two, or even the rest of the day. During that period think of what you truly enjoy, and then see what truly did happen when you didn’t have your phone. A phone can enhance your life, but it shouldn’t be a main ingredient.

The above doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you even have the slightest tendencies, stop, take a deep breath, and really analyze what you draw enjoyment from. We only get so much time in life, so let’s make the best of it in our own ways.


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