1. Check in: how’s the Game Design Document
experience? Can I help?
2. Immersion: What?
3. The Rise of the “f!ckwad”
4. Oh that sweet, sweet swag!
5. How does that matter to our design work?
Next class, your design documents are due, in PDF or hard copy
You and your group will read, talk, deliberate and debate.
As you come toward the finish line with those documents, can I
help with any advice/answer any questions?
This week, your play
experience is to check
out this browser-
on-FB (at one point)
game. It’s basically
As you play AA, ask yourself the following
1)It’s a “social” game– does it feel like your
friends could make it better/more fun?
2)Why do people play? What’s the hook?
3)Does it make you want to keep playing?
The readings we did for today address some of
the varied issues related to gaming and
psychology. I’m going to toss some concepts
and some questions up here for us to
Disclaimer: the Penny Arcade guys are sort of jerks, too.
This is, of course,
But multiple studies
show that given
majority of people
will behave in ways
they wouldn’t IRL.
Reason 1: Because
they CAN’T do that
in their real life.
In other words, the guy “pwning
noobs” in Gears of War 3 takes flack
from his boss ALL DAY LONG.
Reason 2: Because
In other words, mom and dad taught
you to always look people in the eye
and show them respect. No eyes=no
soul (to quote a scholar in my
Reason 3: Because
people really aren’t
as nice as they act.
In other words, read Lord of the
Flies. Everyone wants to have power,
and no one cares about people they
don’t know. As Early on Squidbillies
puts it: “if you ain’t like me, go
hang from a tree.” Early… needs
Reason 3.5: Because
that’s what we
In other words, this is the sadist’s
take, but many psychologists believe
it’s true. We operate, as John Locke
said, by the social contract. But
the social contract is out the
window when you can’t see me, ergo,
I call you names and take your
Reason 4: because we
need to vent.
In other words, life is rough, yo?
Many researchers think that gamers–
particularly female gamers– are like
that Smashing Pumpkins song and that
despite all their rage they are
still just a rat in a cage
(metaphorically speaking). Games are
a chance to scream hellfire and
loose the dogs of war without
looking like a violent person.
Reason 5: because
the game made you do
In other words, games make you
violent. Also, you can’t think for
yourself, and if I didn’t tell you
Grand Theft Auto wasn’t real you’d
jack me outside for my 2007 Hyundai
with the dented passenger door.
Thank goodness none of you played
Reason 6: because
you think it’s cool.
In other words, growing up taught
you that picking on people is funny,
and the coolest kid in school was
the one who took no crap from no
one, no how. You want to be Fonzie
in the digital world, only now
Fonzie sucks. Let’s go frag him.
how do you behave in
Today we’ve looked
at 3 major elements
of game psychology.
Why are they
important to us as
Reason 1: A good
game gets you out of
the world for a
We don’t play to feel like we’re
stuck in the life we’re stuck in. We
play to escape, or to explore.
Reason 2: A good
game accounts for
our lesser angels.
We might be playing to be something
we aren’t in our real lives. We
should, on occasion, have the chance
to steal cars or decapitate zombies.
We’re not going to go outside and do
Reason 3: A good
game rewards us.
Ooooh… shiny! Dr. Phill WANT!
Reason 4: But
really, a GREAT game
makes us happy.
And to understand how to make us
happy, you have to understand how we
think. Oh no, Sigmund Freud was onto
Your game design documents are on Thursday.
Make sure to bring them to class in some format
1. Be shared with classmates
2. Leave with me