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The Psychology of Collection and Hoarding In Games 183

This article at Gamasutra takes a look at how the compulsion to hoard and accumulate objects, as well as the desire to accomplish entirely abstract goals, has become part of the modern gaming mindset. "The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation explains that in compulsive hoarders: 'Acquiring is often associated with positive emotions, such as pleasure and excitement, motivating individuals who experience these emotions while acquiring to keep acquiring, despite negative consequences.' Sound familiar? The 'negative consequences' of chasing after the 120th star in Mario 64 or all 100 hidden packages in Grand Theft Auto III may be more subdued than those of filling your entire house with orange peels and old cans of refried beans. But game designers know that it's pretty damn easy to tap into this deep-rooted need to collect and accumulate. And like happy suckers we buy into it all the time, some to a greater degree than others."

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