Moaning Mondays: Hello, my name is Gaby and I’m a COD Zombie Addict

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The bane of my life at the moment – other than being unemployed that is – is the fact that I’m addicted to Call of Duty Zombies (or Nazi Zombies). I love it, but I hate it and I can’t stop playing it. I swear every morning that I won’t play, but I always do.

After a match ends, I always sit there convincing myself, ‘Just one more game. I’ll finish the Easter Egg this time.’ I’m like a damn crackhead, convincing myself that the next time will be the last time fully knowing that it won’t be.

The first time I ever played Nazi Zombies was after I bought Call of Duty: World at War (WaW). It was actually a real turning point in my life as a gamer. Prior to purchasing the game, I had been on the brink of abandoning gaming as a hobby because I didn’t have enough time to invest in it.

I can still remember going out to buy WaW. My mom had sent me to the supermarket to buy a few things and then I saw a few video games in one of those sale bins you usually find standing in the middle of nowhere near the tills. The bin was filled with a bunch of three year old triple AAA titles that were extremely cheap. I stood there checking the different titles out and ultimately decided to buy one. It was school holidays and I was sitting bored at home. I was keen for a first-person shooter and there were two COD titles in the bin and I decided on WaW because it was set in the Second World War and I like history (my undergrad degree is actually in history.)

When I got home, I finished the campaign and unlocked Nazi Zombies mode. It only took one match of zombies to get me completely hooked. I just loved the whole concept of Nazi Zombies. All of a sudden I had all the time in the world for video games once more.

I had so much fun with WaW that I rushed out and bought Black Ops – the COD title that was released that year – as soon as I had enough cash to afford it just so that I could kill some Zombies. Since then, I have owned every COD and bought a season pass for every Treyarch title.

Some people may read this and feel, ‘I don’t understand how you can like COD Zombies. All you do is run around killing zombies until you die. It’s so boring’ but there is actually a science behind why many people may enjoy COD Zombies (or any other video game in general).

While delivering a presentation on gaming entitled, “7 Ways Games Reward the Brain”, at a TED conference in 2010, technology theorist, Tom Chatfield, suggested that a primary factor in the reason why people play games is that it makes use of the brain’s internal reward system.  A brief and oversimplified explanation of this concept is basically that playing video games (the stimulus) often creates feelings of accomplishment (the reward). Who doesn’t like feeling as if they have accomplished something? (Even if it is in something so small.)

COD Zombies plays very heavily on these feelings of accomplishment. Every time you play you want to do better than you did the last time. Most people who play Zombies always say things like ‘I want to beat my previous best’ or ‘We nearly beat the boss this time. Next match we’ll definitely do it’ –both statements suggesting that the act of playing Zombies is heavily associated with accomplishment.

Getting to high rounds is also not the only objective within Zombies. Often I find that most people I speak to who have played Zombies don’t know that there is an actual story taking place in the game mode and that every new map aims at continuing the story.

In order to further progression in the story you don’t just need to buy the map, but also need to complete the map’s Easter Egg. Some of these can be hard and others not so much. (Completing Der Eisendrache’s Easter Egg took me a good part of a month whereas completing Shadows of Evil’s Easter Egg took a couple of days.) In the end, if you follow the story, it is essential that you complete the Easter Egg (or watch Youtube videos in which others complete it, whichever you fancy.)

There is also a very attractive social element in Zombies. Zombies is a co-op activity. You have to work together with your teammates to accomplish the goal. This often requires that you put on your microphone and speak to others and creates a particular type of camaraderie. You can do this with either with friends or randoms you met in a public match. Most people on my PS4 friends list came from playing Black Ops 3 Zombies and some of them I have been able to create a friendship further than that of only playing video games.

With all this in mind, it is easy to see how one can get addicted. At the moment, as I said previously I can’t stop playing. I do, however, have hope for myself. All I need to do is wait until Activision decides to stop making new Zombies and then avoid all custom Zombie maps until the end of time. It’s so easy.

The bane of my life at the moment is the fact that I’m addicted to Call of Duty Zombies (or Nazi Zombies). I love it, but I hate it and I can’t stop playing it. I swear every morning that I won’t play, but I always do.

After a match ends, I always sit there convincing myself, ‘Just one more game. I’ll finish the Easter Egg this time.’ I’m like a damn crackhead, convincing myself that the next time will be the last time fully knowing that it won’t be.

The first time I ever played Nazi Zombies was after I bought Call of Duty: World at War (WaW). It was actually a real turning point in my life as a gamer. Prior to purchasing the game, I had been on the brink of abandoning gaming as a hobby because I didn’t have enough time to invest in it.

I can still remember going out to buy WaW. My mom had sent me to the supermarket to buy a few things and then I saw a few video games in one of those sale bins you usually find standing in the middle of nowhere near the tills. The bin was filled with a bunch of three year old triple AAA titles that were extremely cheap. I stood there checking the different titles out and ultimately decided to buy one. It was school holidays and I was sitting bored at home. I was keen for a first-person shooter and there were two COD titles in the bin and I decided on WaW because it was set in the Second World War and I like history (my undergrad degree is actually in history.)

When I got home, I finished the campaign and unlocked Nazi Zombies mode. It only took one match of zombies to get me completely hooked. I just loved the whole concept of Nazi Zombies. All of a sudden I had all the time in the world for video games once more.

I had so much fun with WaW that I rushed out and bought Black Ops – the COD title that was released that year – as soon as I had enough cash to afford it just so that I could kill some Zombies. Since then, I have owned every COD and bought a season pass for every Treyarch title.

Some people may read this and feel, ‘I don’t understand how you can like COD Zombies. All you do is run around killing zombies until you die. It’s so boring’ but there is actually a science behind why many people may enjoy COD Zombies (or any other video game in general).

While delivering a presentation on gaming entitled, “7 Ways Games Reward the Brain”, at a TED conference in 2010, technology theorist, Tom Chatfield, suggested that a primary factor in the reason why people play games is that it makes use of the brain’s internal reward system.  A brief and oversimplified explanation of this concept is basically that playing video games (the stimulus) often creates feelings of accomplishment (the reward). Who doesn’t like feeling as if they have accomplished something? (Even if it is in something so small.)

COD Zombies plays very heavily on these feelings of accomplishment. Every time you play you want to do better than you did the last time. Most people who play Zombies always say things like ‘I want to beat my previous best’ or ‘We nearly beat the boss this time. Next match we’ll definitely do it’ –both statements suggesting that the act of playing Zombies is heavily associated with accomplishment.

Getting to high rounds is also not the only objective within Zombies. Often I find that most people I speak to who have played Zombies don’t know that there is an actual story taking place in the game mode and that every new map aims at continuing the story.

In order to further progression in the story you don’t just need to buy the map, but also need to complete the map’s Easter Egg. Some of these can be hard and others not so much. (Completing Der Eisendrache’s Easter Egg took me a good part of a month whereas completing Shadows of Evil’s Easter Egg took a couple of days.) In the end, if you follow the story, it is essential that you complete the Easter Egg (or watch Youtube videos in which others complete it, whichever you fancy.)

There is also a very attractive social element in Zombies. Zombies is a co-op activity. You have to work together with your teammates to accomplish the goal. This often requires that you put on your microphone and speak to others and creates a particular type of camaraderie. You can do this with either with friends or randoms you met in a public match. Most people on my PS4 friends list came from playing Black Ops 3 Zombies and some of them I have been able to create a friendship further than that of only playing video games.

With all this in mind, it is easy to see how one can get addicted. At the moment, as I said previously I can’t stop playing. I do, however, have hope for myself. All I need to do is wait until Activision decides to stop making new Zombies and then avoid all custom Zombie maps until the end of time. It’s so easy.

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