10 Social Life-Killing Games
The recent debut of Grand Theft Auto 5 resulted in numerous people calling out of work and homework being left undone. Why? Because GTA falls under our list of 10 Social Life-Killing Games. These titles go beyond the expected bouts of gaming marathons and fall into the category of obsession. It is at this point where players find themselves forgetting or avoiding the duties of the outside world, which results in avoiding the basic requirements of your education, occupation, friendships or relationships. Constantly playing one of these titles for a majority of the day has been known to cause immensely detrimental effects to a player’s social circles. Nevertheless, if these titles are known to be that addictive, there must be many aspects to their gameplay to keep players so obsessively engaged. So grab a Red Bull and just put your phone on silent and let it die out, because we’re binging through these 10 Social Life-Killing Games.
Monster Hunter starts off our list of 10 Social Life-Killing Games because of its ferocious fanbase overseas. While Monster Hunter is extremely popular across the Western Hemisphere and across Europe, its most die hard audience reside in Japan. Due to cramped living spaces and public transportation being major factors in Japanese culture, the portable versions of the Monster Hunter franchise have outsold their console-based counterparts tremendously. Monster Hunter offers a distinct track'em and hack'em experience unlike any other franchise on this list (the closest being the raid experiences of World of Warcraft). Monster Hunter's most enjoyable aspect is its multiplayer, offering four players the chance to set up traps, lure and fight the creature in tandem. With Monster Hunter 4 being released in Japan a few days ago, we would expect that productivity among the gamer population has been put on hold.
Open-ended gameplay and real-time events are what makes Animal Crossing so popular and addictive. Like Monster Hunter, the popularity of Animal Crossing can be attributed to its portability. Offering a sandbox world without any overarching or definitive objectives result in an on-the-go approach to an immense village with tons of things to do. But instead of multiplayer, you have dozens of anthropomorphic animals to interact with.
League of Legends
Based on Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a battle arena mod for Warcraft 3, League of Legends brings about a simple, but in-depth multiplayer experience for the PC. Due to its competitive level of play (with millions of dollars awarded throughout LoL's various world tournaments), League of Legends leaves players unable to simply quit or restart due to its ongoing turret-defense style of gameplay. Due to DotA and LoL being somewhat based off of the Warcraft 3 engine, its graphical requirements are extremely low, which means that even low-end laptops can play them. Toss in a substantially low cost (it's free!), and millions are alt-tabbed out of their work and playing as their favorite champion.
We still can't believe it's been 14 years since the original Counter-Strike mod was released for the first Half-Life title. Before Call of Duty became the most popular FPS series in the world, it stuck primarily to the setting of World War 2. During this time, Counter-Strike was, arguably, the most popular multiplayer FPS around. Years before Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network allowed players to play Halo or CoD in large groups, Counter-Strike was one of the first FPS titles on PC to allow fast-paced, online FPS action. Much of this had to do with the popularity of internet cafes in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The resulting effect was that players were charged all-day prices for playing in internet cafes and would spend most of their days as either terrorists or counter-terrorists. During its prime, many collegiate Information Technology professors would warn their students not to get into Counter-Strike since its multiplayer experience was so new and addictive.
Want to know how the best way to abandon your existence in society and the world? By replacing it another society/world to manage on your computer! Going from infancy to senility, you follow the Sims you create throughout their lives. Like the world outside, The Sims offers your characters multitudes of variety in terms of what you want your characters' lives to encompass. This led to numerous people being obsessed with their Sim's lives and ignoring their own.
Nothing can kill your social life more so than online games that you cannot simply drop out of or quit. StarCraft 2 is treated as a pastime in South Korea, with two television channels constantly broadcasting professional SC2 matches. For the releases of both StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty and StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, numerous businesses in Korea were closed for the entire week, considering most of the workers (and customers) were on their PCs farming up minerals and amassing forces. Who knows how many people remained playing from that point onward. StarCraft 2 might have put numerous businesses on pause in Korea, but it is only the halfway mark on this list of 10 Social Life-Killing Games
The Call of Duty Series
Since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007, we have seen multitudes of gamers flocking to the online multiplayer of the Call of Duty series. The success of their modern shooters resulted in Activision abandoning the World War II backdrop (though we would love to see a return to this scenario using current gen technology) and led to sequels upon sequels to CoD's offshoot series. A total of 1.6 BILLION hours have been logged onto Modern Warfare 3 since 2011. Even though we now expect biennial releases of the Call of Duty series which probably leave the core gameplay unchanged, we cannot debate the damage the Call of Duty franchise has done to the social lives of millions of gamers worldwide.
The Pokemon Series
It's the series that started a revolution. One episode of its anime caused 600 plus seizures to children across Japan, and they all still kept watching. There used to be a Pokemon Center store in Rockefeller Center (it's now the Nintendo World Store). There's even a giant Pikachu in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Why? Because Pokemon has made THAT much of an imprint onto our society. From trading cards to role-playing games, Pokemon has an extremely large, obsessed and dedicated fanbase. Most serious players dedicate hundreds of hours to catching them all and perfecting their pocket monster roster in order to be the very best. We can expect a lot of homework will be ignored once Pokemon X/Y is released next month.
The Grand Theft Auto Series
Grand Theft Auto is the controversial and taboo figurehead of mature, open world gaming. It's been targeted by politicians so much that Rockstar should be considered an independent party. The Grand Theft Auto Series has always offered a criminal path to success allowing gamers to explore their imaginations and creativity as to climbing the Scarface ladder of success. Factoring out the actual story, there are hundreds of hidden collectibles and optional missions to partake in so your character can be the next Don Coreleone. Factor in the variety and expansive world each GTA provides, and it is extremely hard to ever get bored with a Rockstar gun in your hand. Why wasn't this list released earlier in the week? Because we were too busy playing GTA V.
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft has ruined more collegiate careers than underage drinking. LIke most of the previous entries on this list, WoW offers open-ended gameplay without a true ending or final mission to accomplish. For every major achievement you complete in Azeroth, there are dozens more. You beat the Lich King? Try Heroic mode. You finished every available quest in the game? Try the player vs player battlegrounds. Even when you are bored of what you are doing, there is ALWAYS something else to do, another character to level, another flying mount to craft or another massive boss to kill. The never-ending abundance of options WoW has to offer led to it being a cultural icon (you know something is a large part of pop-culture when there's a South Park episode about it). The number of social lives, educations, marriages and careers damaged by Warcraft accounts must be astronomical, considering if you were to add up the total playtime of every WoW character ever made, you would get over 6 million years. With such a staggering fanbase (it is still the most popular subscription-based MMORPG available), we give World of Warcraft the Warchief's throne atop our list of 10 Social Life-Killing Games. For the Horde!