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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

VR wordlellustration: Jessica Karl

While discussions around technology use are often focused on the impacts of addictive app design, a recent opinion piece by Parmy Olson highlights an emerging trend of apps that are moving away from this type of design. Instead, she discusses apps like BeReal and Wordle that are more focused on building anticipation (by requiring user engagement once a day) as opposed to compulsive checking throughout the day.

She also suggests that companies like Facebook who previously focused on addictive app design are now moving away from this model as they venture into the world of Virtual Reality (VR).

In the article Olson presents ideas on how VR does not have the same addictive features that are present in many smartphone apps.

The following reasons are presented in the article:  

  • Entering VR requires many steps like putting on a headset and waiting for the program to load.
  • VR requires more focus than many apps like Instagram which you can use while also watching a movie
  • VR is as addictive as computer games
  • VR does not result in the same dopamine hits as using conventional social media apps

Do you feel that these factors will help make VR less addictive than current social media apps that are designed to be  addictive?

Or do you feel that there are other factors that are not presented in the article that can contribute to making VR addictive?

I would love to hear your thoughts, you can leave your comments below!


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  • VR wordle: llustration: Jessica Karl
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