In response to "Fifteen More Minutes from The Escapist Forum: Interesting philosophy about the "15 more minutes", I never thought of it as the smallest possible unit of time we can devote to something else. But I have to disagree about your intro.
You can infact, finish a level in 15 minutes. It's more than enough for a few gunfights and a bit more. You can get to the boss and at least get the taste of him in those 15 minutes (if you're right at the end of a dungeon).
That's the whole deal with 15 minutes. When we were just beginner gamers, we once decided just to continue a little bit more to see if we can finish another part till the next save point, and we saw that 15 minutes is just enough. At least I know I did. I found out that in most mission-based FPS, repeating a failed mission is just around 15 minutes. And in RPGs, you can just barely make it either to the next save point or just to see what lies ahead. Or figure out how to reconfigure your inventory.
Those 15 minutes were never pointless to me <3
Fifteen more minutes also represents another, external factor: it allows us to "come down" and "wrap up" whatever aims we were trying to achieve in the game, so we can leave the game on our terms. It represents an internal shift from fun mode to responsible mode that is more effective for us, as we internally embrace the idea that we are in control and choosing to move onto the other engagement.
The flaw with this process comes when we don't want to accept the other engagement at all - in which case procrastination kicks in, and more often than not, we milk those 15 more minutes, and then some, until it hopefully somehow becomes too late to do the other engagement, at which point we might as well continue with the game instead until the next engagement comes along.
In response to "The Five Habits of Highly Addicted Gamers" from The Escapist Forum: Er, what? Those are signs of addiction?
The controller movement was something I'd attribute more to newbies who don't yet understand that the controller does not have motion sensing (and hey, now it DOES) and mimicing the regular control system for whatever you're controlling doesn't work. The only time you could see me turn the controller around was on the C64 but back then we were using joysticks that could barely withstand the force of being used.
Talking smack to the AI kinda makes it feel more interactive and helps a bit with feeling like a movie hero (who talk smack ALL THE TIME), after all that's the feeling most games nowadays try to create. I mostly talk to my computer when I voice responses out loud before typing them in discussions, I think of it as a way of exercising my spoken English (it's not my native language and I only use it in text form usually so I had trouble in the past when actually trying to speak with someone rather than use text), I think I've become more fluent that way.
Modding is something completely different from gaming addiction, in fact from what I see most modders pretty much quit gaming. Modding can cause a fall into the coding zone, that feeling where everything around you stops mattering as you write your code to implement what you wanted to and your brain focusses only on the task you face. The coding zone, as the name implies, can be reached from all programming and possibly even all creative tasks. Modders often spend long times only modding, not touching any game except for implementation testing. That's not a gaming addiction.
Messing around (or "emergent gameplay" if you like buzzwords) has been around for a long time and I'd say that's the pioint where you actually PLAY. The kind of playing that children do. A child who only uses Lego according to the instructions would be weird, why is it expected that a gamer always plays according to the regular rules? Why can't we toy around with the system until we break it and see it fail gloriously? Hell, wasn't there an article about exactly that on here titled something like "Play like a 5 year old"?
Killing Sims seems like a normal part of The Sims, I think every random casual player has already done that. It's the whole building up/tearing down aspect that makes people pick stuff from the disaster menu in Sim City or use the demolition feature in Lego construction programs.