The Most Addictive Video Games

Addictive games come in many forms. What is exciting and enthralling for one teenager may cause another to be sick to his stomach - literally (just try to play "Crazy Taxi" for more than a few levels without having to lie down).

Here's a guide to addictive games in a variety of categories, ranging from the incredibly complex massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) to simple, repetitive games that have stood the test of time like "Tetris." In the MMORPG category, two games are commonly known as the most addictive: "World of Warcraft" and "Everquest."

With more than 10 million registered players all over the world, Blizzard Entertainment's "World of Warcraft" (WOW) is often called "World of Warcrack" in reference to its addictiveness. This game has something for every type of player - fantasy, fighting, playing together, or playing alone. Teenage boys in particular are motivated to play for hours on end in order to get to the higher levels of the game, where they can earn better armor, equipment, and WOW gold. The game is so ubiquitous that the animated comedy show "South Park" produced an episode parodying its addictive nature. "Everquest," sometimes disparagingly called "Never-Rest," is the granddaddy of all MMORPGs, first released in 1999.

In blog after blog, gamers say the addictive nature of these games comes not just from the variety of game play, but from the ever-changing nature of the game. There is no "winning" the game. There is no ultimate goal. Reaching the highest level in the game requires hundreds of hours of playing time, and right when a certain character level has reached its max, the game changes! Many players use multiple characters, trying on different roles and weapons.

There's another popular type of multiplayer game that is played online through a game console like PlayStation or XBOX. Lovers of "Halo 3," released late last year, refer to their addiction as "Halodiction." Bloggers have boasted, or bemoaned, 19-hour stretches of Halo play. Halo lovers point to the high-level graphics and sound, saying it's like starring in your own movie. What differentiates this type of console game from the others is that there is an end to the game. At some point, after many, many hours of play, the gamer does reach a final level. But in the multiplayer, online mode, the variations are endless and many go back again and again to blow up the bad guys.

Then you have games like Tetris and Solitaire. The games are very simple, but also can be very addictive, particularly because they often are found on cell phones and PDAs. This allows teens to play anywhere, including under a school desk to keep the teacher in the dark.

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