A game is supposed to be fun, right? Wrong. Often we play games that are not actually fun to play. For example if you were to play an adventure game, you may have to do a section of the game loads of times attempting to get to the next save point and to the next section of the game. The first few attempts at the task may be fun and entertaining, however by the time you get to your tenth try, it is probably just frustrating and you may ask why you are even playing such a game. More often than not, a person will want to get the reward at the end of the particular task at hand. There is a natural instinct in each person to do so, even if the reward is not great.
An interesting theory is that “people perform better when offered rewards” (http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reward_and_punishment). There is a natural instinct in each person to perform, even if the reward is not that great.
For example it maybe that you are playing a game like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and you have a particularly good gun. You might be doing a task that will get you a gun that is not as good as the one you already have. Even though you might know this, you will still want to complete the task at hand. This particular situation illustrates the human instinct for getting rewards.
Another example of this theory in my own gaming experience is when playing The Incredibles. I remember trying to complete a particular part of the game what seemed like hundreds of times. For some reason I just couldn’t complete it. I got increasingly frustrated and angry with each attempt. I always thought to myself why am I playing this? I think what drove me to put so much energy in the game is the thought and curiosity of reaching a new level. This was the reward I was striving for. Also I wanted the satisfaction of completing the part of the game that given me so much trouble. When I did eventually complete the part of the game, I was relieved and then instantly wanted to get further and get my next reward. From this you can see that there is a natural instinct in a person to get the reward just around the next corner.
Reward and Punishment (Date Unknown). Retrieved from the World Wide Web on 6th March 2007: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reward_and_punishment