The Skinner box is a device that was first developed by B. F. Skinner in his work on operant conditioning. A subject was placed in the box, and the mechanism gave small amounts of food each time the subject performed a particular action, such as depressing a lever or pecking a disk. Skinner was able to discover schedules of reinforcement. By rewarding more and more exaggerated behavior, complex actions could be trained through small successive rewards. For example, if a pigeon turned its head left, some food is dropped. The next time the pigeon does that he has to turn a little more left to get the food. Eventually you can train the pigeon to turn all the way around in a circle. http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html for the longest time i tried to understand the pathological obsessive compulsiveness behind the pokemon games. i played the first gameboy Red/Green, and it was fun as hell, but when it comes to replaying it just to find every pokemon that ill never use after im finished with the game, i really couldent have cared less. once i beat Giovanni, i sold the cartridge to cash converters for another game. so it really comes as a surprise that the franchise still garners so much appeal, despite the fact that every subsequent game is an exact duplicate copy, only with slightly different character designs. (put rabbit ears on a dog and call it a Bunnadog Pokemon or some such nonsence) but i guess in the light of that article and considering the pathology of human behavioral science its pretty clear whats going on here. Humans have evolved a heightened sense of resource management. the alpha male that procures the most resources for the tribe gets to mate with the females. we are hard wired to hunt, collect and hoard. and thats exactly what the Pokemon games exploit. repetitive behavior reinforced by the thrill of random rewards. the same principle exploited by Vegas Casinos. did you ever wonder why more games now are implementing Achievements and RPG elements, because it strikes something in the subconsciousness mind.