The Psychology Behind Item Collecting And Achievement Hoarding

Item-collecting has been a staple of video games for many years. What is it inside gamers' heads that makes us want to accumulate items and chase after Achievements? Gamasutra's Kris Graft speaks with the experts...

Kris Graft: "You may recall the eccentric Collyer Brothers. Homer and Langley, heirs of one of New York's oldest families, lived in a Manhattan mansion in the first half of the 1900s. There, the two became reclusive, boarding up their windows and accumulating over 100 tons of what most would classify as "junk" until the entire house was packed to the ceiling – anything from bundles of newspapers to the chassis of a Model T to 14 full-sized pianos.

They were compulsive hoarders, and I think there's a little bit of Collyer in all of us gamers. The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation explains that in compulsive hoarders, "Acquiring is often associated with positive emotions, such as pleasure and excitement, motivating individuals who experience these emotions while acquiring to keep acquiring, despite negative consequences.""

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