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The first hit is free, posted by Enrique G

As a kid, video arcades were my babysitter much of the time. Mom and pop wanted to go see a movie my brothers and I weren’t interested in, we usually wound up at Putt Putt Golf & Games for a couple hours while they caught the flick. I don’t remember any games that became obsessive for me, other than maybe throwing down against my brothers in Street Fighter II or Cyberball.

Since I’ve gotten older, however, there have been numerous games that sink their hooks into me and won’t let me go. Everyone knows I’m a Rock Band fanatic. Also pretty hardcore into Left 4 Dead. I didn’t really think I got the Mass Effect phenomenon until I realized I’d started up a new career with a different character almost immediately after I finished the game with my first one. And don’t get me started on the Bioshock titles (please, Hollywood, if you’re going to turn every game into a movie, at least get this one right and put it in David Fincher’s hands if he’s interested).

But what is it that pulls me in? Story plays a big part in Bioshock, to a lesser degree in Mass Effect. But that certainly doesn’t explain Rock Band or my latest obsession Plants vs Zombies (if you’re not familiar with it, don’t laugh until you give it a shot. If you’re not sucked in after the first hour, you’re a better person than I).

Gameplay is obviously the key, but what is it about the game play that makes such a difference? I figured this is the best audience to pose the question to: what gets the jonesing started that you say “Just one more screen/mission/level…” and next thing you know you’ve lost a couple of hours and find yourself late to wherever you need to be?

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