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

16 March 2021 - 20:14 By Dave Lee

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...

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