THEY HAVE LEVELS

Or missions, or high scores, or something that can result in being able to give yourself just one more checkpoint to reach. After that, you can reach the next level, and the next, and the next, until the firefighters bust through your door because you’ve missed rent and won’t answer your phone and everyone is just generally really concerned.

YOU CAN PLAY THEM WITH OTHER PEOPLE

Ah, yes. I was wondering when we’d get to the anecdotally most time-heisting game genre: The Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. An online, usually dungeons-and-dragons-style game with a big world to explore. This includes games like the mind-explodingly popular World of Warcraft, which had more than 10 million players as of November and which gets mentioned by name in the study more than other game. Online first-person shooters like the Halo and Call of Duty franchises are popular games that meet this criterion, too.

THEY HAVE A PLOT

Gamers in the study said they couldn’t wait to figure out what would happen next in the story, so they wouldn’t put it down. So that eliminates popular choices like Tetris unless someone can convince me it has a plot. (You are trying to ruin someone’s plan for a very blocky building, maybe?) But actually this can still include … oh, I don’t know, probably most post-’80s games, really.