Help! Why do I keep playing??

For week 6’s lecture on ‘Amazing Economies,’ we had to play this game named AdVenture Capitalist in advance. I was curious to see what kind of games we were assigned to play and why, so I downloaded it and started to play. It is a little embarrassing to admit, but I got quite addicted to it… I played it in the hour before the lecture started, and as a result, continued to play it for days straight. The weekend after that week’s lecture, I went on a family trip and I still played the game whenever I had nothing to do. Why? I have no clue. The game itself is not that adventurous as it says, you basically only have to click every now and then. I would have never thought that such a simple game could be so addictive and would give me this urge to keep on playing. So, why is it so addictive? I will explain this further in my blog post!

AdVenture Capitalist: how to play

So, maybe it’s good to share how this free-to-play game AdVenture Capitalist works. It is a so-called ‘clicker game’ in which you click a button as fast as possible to earn something. In this case, you begin to click on a lemon stand to produce goods, then sell them and therefore earn money. With the money you earn from clicking, you can buy more and more lemon stands and therefore grow this business. The more you click, the more you grow. At a certain point, you are able to buy more expensive businesses that earn you more money per click. Eventually, you can also hire managers that will do the clicking for you, which makes it even easier to play the game and expand your empire of businesses. From a lemon stand to a whole oil company to eventually unlock the moon and also starting businesses there… The games’ only sake is to increase your number of money higher, having no particular end goal. It is a never-ending rabbit hole. AdVenture Capitalist is a simple and – dare I say it – stupid game. And even though I realized that I really couldn’t stop playing it…

Advertising picture of Adventure Capitalist found on this site.

Minimum effort, Maximum results!

Why is it addictive? For me, it was the fact that I saw constant progress. You get rewarded constantly, seeing the rising number and the ability to buy more and more things. Also, there is not a lot you need to know prior to playing the game. I could play it without any knowledge about what the best strategies are for investing and building up an empire of businesses. Thus, it is easy to handle and be good at. Additionally, the game is designed to play in the background. When you’re offline for a few hours and come back to the game, there immediately pops up a notification with the high number you have earned while being away. This way, the game tricks you into checking every so often how many decillions you have made while you were away and reinvest that into one of the businesses. One slogan that could describe this game is ‘minimal effort = maximum results’. There is very low effort involved in playing the game. You can brainlessly just click away and proceed further into the rabbit hole you created for yourself. Play it easily as a quick study break, while watching a series, or even before bed just to reach that 1 quattuordecillion before you really are going to sleep.

I even found this video from the Youtuber Tewtiy, who live-streamed playing the game for 1:14:34 straight. Which is, in my opinion, a long time to spend continuously on this brainless game. The video has unexpectedly a lot of views – 70.533 – and many people actively reacted while the live stream happened. While these people could also watch the video only because of the Youtuber itself, I think the video testifies the appeal and captivating nature AdVenturous Capitalist has.

My AdVenturous Experience

As I said before, I first thought the game wouldn’t be very exciting and certainly not as enticing as it is. However, it still has something that keeps you playing. There is something about seeing the number of money going up into these crazy high numbers. Quadrillions, septendecillion, quattuorvigintillion, octoquadragintillion, etc… I don’t even know exactly how much an octoquadragintillion is but I know it is a lot of money and I know I wanted more…

In the end, I am happy my boyfriend deleted the app after seeing me obsessing over this game for a few days. I wasn’t strong enough to do it myself – which says something on itself – but when the app was deleted it felt freeing. Luckily now I have beat that cycle of addictive capitalist consumerism through a really stupid little app. I think it is odd to know that such things can consume a lot of your time at all. Time is precious and I do not want to spend it thinking about whether I should invest my 2.3 duoquinquagintillion on my werewolves colonies or on the gravity booths I have on the moon…

One question for you guys: did you also play this game for the course? And if so, did you get addicted to it? I’d like to hear about your experiences!