A look back at the MMO and gaming science topics of 2018


Over the last couple of years since becoming Massively OP, we’ve made a concerted effort to improve the quality of our gaming science-related articles, as you may have noticed from our roundups in 2017 and 2016 and 2015, which get longer and longer every year, thanks in no small part to the fact that politicians and health experts are paying more and more attention to the public impact of the growing online gaming industry.

Also, yes, let’s be honest: lockboxes.

Read on for a recap of our best science-related MMO articles from 2018, from Raph Koster’s Trust Spectrum and EVE Online’s contributions to the Human Project Atlas to the psychology of Fortnite’s popularity and WHO’s “gaming disorder” classification. Big game data and the potential to abuse it have been much on our minds as well.

Don’t worry; there won’t be a quiz at the end!


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Empirical Evidence!

So, in 2018 we heard a great deal of “science” surrounding games and MMOs as you mention. But what we didn’t hear is substantive quantifiable evidence backing any of the claims.

First, the WHO. Their and claims with regard to addiction. It seems they got mired in a classification issue. And there was no evidence presented that would differentiate video games from other entertainment activities such as watching TV.

The question is not really one of addiction. Anything can be addictive in the extreme. The question is: are video games, like drugs or gambling, a habit-forming destructive compulsion that after a period time cannot be curbed rationally?

Where is the data integrity and full analysis on that question?

And in the same vein. If China has data showing games linking myopia before we jump in, how about we see the data on that as well?

And before continuing to blame Fortnite for not being a better nanny, shouldn’t there be scientific studies showing why this game is more harmful than other games, candy, and absentee parents?