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mtraven comments on Superstimuli and the Collapse of Western Civilization - Less Wrong

60 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 March 2007 06:10PM

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Comment author: mtraven 17 March 2007 03:09:55AM 1 point [-]

Drugs may be the best model for this sort of addiction, but one big difference is that software can evolve much faster. New street drugs are invented every so often, but obviously at a rate much slower than new software can be introduced. Game software might evolve not just to be more addictive, but to be safer, since killing the customer is counterproductive. Fatally-addicting games could have safety features introduced, like forcing the user to take a break every so often. And presumably such features WOULD be introduced, since it's in the interest of all parties.

The upshot of such an evolutionary path would be games that are highly addicting but not fatally so. The social problems wouldn't be so much players dropping dead as having the game world suck in so much human attention that real-world productivity suffers.