The Virtual Skinner Box

“EverQuest has a decidedly constructive and cooperative tone to it. There is no blood in the game. No disemboweled intestines splatter on your screen. Instead, players often find themselves chatting while waiting for a mob to spawn. The ranger may be fletching as he recounts a particularly close battle. The warrior chugs some Dwarven Ale. There may be some emotes with playful, sexual overtones. In contrast with Quake or Diablo, this scene feels awfully relaxed and idyllic.” Nick YeeThe Virtual Skinner

The “Skinner box” is the laboratory contraption that features a lever that dispenses food when a rat pushes it. The article observes that Everquest carefully conditions its players to perform ever more elaborate quests, by changing the reward system.