Football video game addicts try and kick the habit
Fifa Ultimate Team players know they are being drawn in by algorithms designed to provide bursts of satisfaction
As lockdown set in, I decided to wade into the world of competitive Fifa — a mode of the best-selling football video game that I had long avoided. I knew it was delicately engineered to sap both my time and my money.
Fifa Ultimate Team involves building a squad, mostly by opening randomised packs — sometimes called “loot boxes” — containing upgrades. You can speed up progress by paying real money for more packs: a deposit of $99.99 (R1,485) is declared “great value” in the game’s menu...