0
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Science of Fun 4 Ways Games Make You Happier
1
@NicoleLazzaro
nlazzaro...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
1 Billion Players Served
2
4 Keys to Fun
10 Years
100,000 Downloads
16...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Everyone Has a Dream (write it down)
3
Write Down Your dream
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Everyone Has Been Disappointed
SURVIVAL THREATENED
CORTISOL SEEK
WORLD...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Happiness Problem #1: Sometimes Good Feels Bad
5
My Goal
Feels Bad

...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Happiness Problem #2: Emotions are Fleeting
6
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Happiness Problem #3 Not on Speaking Terms
7
Limbic Feelings
Cortex Th...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Can We Game the Brain?
8
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Crazy Idea: Design Small Games - Daily Dose
Dopamine
Oxytocin
Serotoni...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Games: 1. Goals 2. Connect 3. Recognize
10
Simple Games towards Dream ...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
The 4 Keys to Fun
11
Games are fun in 4 ways
Hard Fun Challenge: Goals...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
1. Celebrate Small Goals
ANTICIPATE RARE
DOPAMINE REWARD
TRAIN DAILY C...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
1. Celebrate Small Goals
13
Draw a Line to Hard & Serious Fun
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Amplify the Reward: Asana Celebrations Game
14
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
1. Celebrate Small Goals
15
Write 1 Step to your dream
On back of game...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Experiment
FREE HUGS
16
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
2. Connect Trust Reciprocate
REDUCE FEAR
AMPLIFY IN/OUT
TOUCH SOCIAL B...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
2. Connect Trust Reciprocate
18
Draw a Line to People Fun
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Candy Crush Saga Connection Game
19
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Couple ThumbKiss Game
20
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
2. Connect Trust Reciprocate
21
Write Friend’s Name
On the back
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
3. Respect from Those You Admire
SOCIAL DOMINANCE MOOD FOOD!
SEROTONIN...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
3. Respect from Those You Admire
23
Draw a Line to People & Serious Fun
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Tinder Recognition Game
24
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
3. Respect from Those You Admire
25
How Share
Accomplishments?
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
4. Euphoria From Exertion
MASKS PAIN
ENDORPHIN EUPHORIA
LAUGH CRY EXER...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
4. Euphoria From Exertion
27
Draw a Line to Hard & Serious Fun
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
5. World Changing “Likes” on Goals Mean More
28
Remember you can
be a ...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
Contact XEO to Increase Your Fun
29
Prizes!
Tweet your dream
@NicoleLa...
www.xeodesign.com
© 2014 XEODesign, Inc.
XEODesign®
XEODesign Consulting
Unlock Human Potential with Play
30
Game Your Bra...
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Nicole Lazzaro - The Science of Fun: 3 Ways Games Make You Happier and Save the World

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Change is hard. Advances in game design and neuroscience can make it easy. Millennium of evolution gives us an amazing system for acquiring behavior good and bad. The rush of positive emotions such as dopamine (reward), endorphin (euphoria), and oxytocin (trust) do daily battle with bad boys such as cortisol (stress). The activities we engage in for these daily battles tune our behavior. The challenge is that the cognitive rational self that sets our goals is not the same brain system that deals out the chemicals that make us feel good. Serious game designers ignore this battle at their peril. Specially designed games can hack your brain to turn vicious cycles into virtus ones to help you lose weight, get smarter, and even fight climate change.

Come and explore this playful splash into 3 specific ways the fun of games can rewire your brain to be happier, healthier, and primed to work together to save the planet.

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  • To begin, everyone has a dream.
    Everyone has experienced disappointment.
    Sometimes the disappointments get in the way of our dreams.


  • When disappointments get in the way of our dreams we often learn things that get in the way of working on our dreams.
    Some give up because they feel bad.

    One neuro chemical in disappointment is Cortisol the stress hormone. A little is good. A lot from chronic stress is bad.

    Cortisol is released when the world cannot meet our needs. We feel our survival is threatened. The bad feelings drive behavior to seek new ways to meet needs. There is a survival advantage for doing so.

    The strong negative emotions encourage us to seek places with love and friendship. Sometimes unrealistic expectations or goals set too high create chronic levels of cortisol when world cannot respond.

    The challenge is that unpleasant experiences with high levels of cortisol can teach some to avoid theactivities that are required to achieve their goals.

    This leads us to the first problem of happiness.
  • The first problem of happiness is that some things that feel good for us (say chocolate cake) lead us away from our goal.
    And the things that help us towards our goals (say sitting down to write an outline for that screen play) actually feel bad.

    The emotions and the outcomes are switched relative to our goals.

    Life experiences make these switches deeply engrained habits and neural pathways in the brain.

    It’s worse than that…
  • The Second Happiness problem is that when we do manage to feel good it’s temporary.
    What goes up, must come down.
    Emotions are like gears they feel good and fade, feel good and fade.
    This is by design, because the bad feelings create a drive to do another behavior to trigger the food feelings again.

    We’re humans, that’s just how emotions work. The good news is that I see a nice hack here.

    There is a final challenge in hacking one’s own brain.
  • One of the most difficult problems for happiness is that the systems responsible for cognition are not connected to those that feel good. The cortex is the part of the brain responsible for thoughts, decisions, and language. The limbic system is responsible for feelings. When you make a decision that helps you reach your goals you can’t tell your limbic system with words to be happy.

    This is why you can’t just tell yourself to be happy

    Cortext
    . Sense making
    . Thinking
    . Verbal
    . Memory life experiences

    Limbic System
    . Emotions and feeling
    . Neurochemicals that feel good/bad
    . Amygdala
    . Hippocampus
    . Hypothalamus
    . Pituitary

    Today’s Challenge: how can we game this system?
  • The question to ask is how can we:
    . Hack
    . Rewire
    . Reprogram
    . Make new neural pathways
  • The Crazy idea here is to target these happiness boosters on a daily basis.
    Build new response pathways and habits around a goal that helps you achieve your dream.

    With the right game in your life you can:
    . Create new reward loops for dopamine around activities that meet your long term needs
    . Cajole the pituitary release oxytocin to calm the amygdala (to reduce fear)
    . Stimulate the hippocampus (maybe cause it to grow) with more serotonin and more serotonin receptors
    . Create endorphins to mask the negative feelings en route to your dream

  • Have you ever thumbkissed?

    This is what Oxytocin looks like in a game.

    The Couple App.
    When both partners have the app open they can thumbkiss by movign their thumb on the screen.
    When the two fingerprints overlap the phone vibrates and screen flashes.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pair/id503663173?mt=8
  • Back to your dream.
    What’s a way you can get a little Oxytocin to help you out.

    Write on the back the name of someone you can count on for a friendly hug, smile, or text
    (Make sure you have a photo of their friendly face to look at to increase the effect.)


  • The third neurochemical for happiness is Serotonin. This is a challenging one. It’s produced in a number of places in the brain and the receptors are on the Hippocampus which regulates overall mood and plays a role in recognizing the good/bad expressions on other people’s faces.

    80% of the body’s serotonin is surprisingly in the gut.
    For our purposes it has to do with social dominance and rank.
    We are social animals and similar to how oxytocin helps create trust, serotonin correlates with social dominance and rank.

    One way to get serotonin is to get the respect from someone you admire. Preferably someone above you with higher social rank.

    Here’s how it works.
    We are social animals and needs a system to organize social rank. For example when there’s a piece of food we don’t all pile onto it. Everyone would get hurt.

    Instead the person with the highest rank eats first and then it goes down the social hierarchy.
    Serotonin relates to social rank. The higher up the rank you are, the more serotonin, and the more secure you feel as you have access to food. With adequate levels of serotonin means you are able to compete with others and have access to food.

    Fluctuations in serotonin affect appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, memory, and learning.

    The challenge with serotonin is that it is impolite to run around sharing your daily accomplishments expecting praise. At least if you are over 12 years old.

    How to gamify serotonin
    . Create a daily opportunity to gain admiration from those admire
    . Habits that remind self worth when rank inevitably dips
    . Express pride in accomplishments in a socially acceptable way
    . Share accomplishments
    . Appreciate the accomplishments of others (to get a quid pro quo going)

    Posting on Facebook and twitter can be one way, but be careful of social media addiction and too much screen time. Constantly checking email (and by extrapolation social media) corilates with low mood and in lowering mood further.



  • The game mechanics for increasing serotonin are in People Fun and Serious Fun.

    Lot’s of good ideas to explore there.
  • As an example the dating app Tinder has a recognition game that creates a little serotonin.
    You can like (and not like) people’s photos.
    This creates a burst of serotonin when you are liked by others.
    Not seeing who does not like you is nice because that would lower one’s serotonin.
  • Now you try
    Write on the back of the card, how will you share your accomplishments in a way that allows others to appreciate?
    Create a mutual admiration society?
    Blog tweet of Facebook posts?

    Getting small burst of respect from others is not easy, but it feels really good especially if it’s on a way to achieve your goal.


  • Finally, there is Endorphin which creates euphoria.
    Endorphins in the body mask pain to make a person feel good.
    Ways to get these are straight forward: you can laugh, cry, exercise
    Also, the capstan from hot chili pepper in foods tricks your body that your mouth is on fire to release endorphins.

    Endorphins play a role in survival to kick in after exertion to mask pain.
    If a person was running from a wild boar endorphins mask the pain of the scrapes and scratches as they stumble through the woods so they are not overwhelmed by pain.
  • To design for endorphins take game mechanics from Hard Fun and Serious Fun.
  • Finally, there’s a simple trick to get even more from your feel good games.
    Connect your dream to a higher purpose. Make your dream a world changing game (like our game Tilt World plant’s trees in Madagascar).

    For me, like in this example, being “liked” for standing up for a cause I believed in felt much more powerful than being liked for other posts. The Facebook “Like” Game feels Even Better When Goals are Changing the World

    Link these behaviors into habits that have meaning beyond achieving a goal for yourself.

    Changing the real world closes the loop.
    Even more when this attention results or comes from action
    Give people’s emotions somewhere positive to go.
  • In summary. Create games to achieve your goals using the 4 Keys to create the neurochemicals that feel good as you work towards your goals.

    1. Dopamine to create small goals and rewards for completing small steps
    2. Oxytocin connect with others to form bonds and trust.
    3. Serotonin from sharing accomplishments and getting social respect from those you admire
    4. Endorphin exert yourself, laugh, cry, exercises to get euphoria and mask negative emotions

    Make Your Goal Something that Makes People Happier

  • Transcript of "Nicole Lazzaro - The Science of Fun: 3 Ways Games Make You Happier and Save the World"

    1. 1. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Science of Fun 4 Ways Games Make You Happier 1 @NicoleLazzaro nlazzaro@xeodesign.com
    2. 2. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 1 Billion Players Served 2 4 Keys to Fun 10 Years 100,000 Downloads 16,000 Trees Tilt World iOS 22 Years XEODesign®
    3. 3. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Everyone Has a Dream (write it down) 3 Write Down Your dream
    4. 4. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Everyone Has Been Disappointed SURVIVAL THREATENED CORTISOL SEEK WORLD CANNOT MEET NEEDS LOOK FOR NEW WAYS 4
    5. 5. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Happiness Problem #1: Sometimes Good Feels Bad 5 My Goal Feels Bad    Feels Good
    6. 6. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Happiness Problem #2: Emotions are Fleeting 6
    7. 7. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Happiness Problem #3 Not on Speaking Terms 7 Limbic Feelings Cortex Thoughts
    8. 8. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Can We Game the Brain? 8
    9. 9. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Crazy Idea: Design Small Games - Daily Dose Dopamine Oxytocin Serotonin Endorphin 9 Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning Dr. Paul Zak
    10. 10. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Games: 1. Goals 2. Connect 3. Recognize 10 Simple Games towards Dream Simple Science
    11. 11. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® The 4 Keys to Fun 11 Games are fun in 4 ways Hard Fun Challenge: Goals Obstacles Strategies Easy Fun Novelty: Exploration Creativity Role Play People Fun Friendship: Cooperation Competition Serious Fun Meaning: Real World Change Each has unique Emotions Free whitepapers at 4K2F.com
    12. 12. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 1. Celebrate Small Goals ANTICIPATE RARE DOPAMINE REWARD TRAIN DAILY CELEBRATIONS I DID IT! o/ 12 fear
    13. 13. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 1. Celebrate Small Goals 13 Draw a Line to Hard & Serious Fun
    14. 14. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Amplify the Reward: Asana Celebrations Game 14
    15. 15. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 1. Celebrate Small Goals 15 Write 1 Step to your dream On back of game card
    16. 16. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Experiment FREE HUGS 16
    17. 17. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 2. Connect Trust Reciprocate REDUCE FEAR AMPLIFY IN/OUT TOUCH SOCIAL BONDS OXYTOCIN TRUST HUG SING DANCE TOGETHER CONNECTION 17
    18. 18. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 2. Connect Trust Reciprocate 18 Draw a Line to People Fun
    19. 19. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Candy Crush Saga Connection Game 19
    20. 20. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Couple ThumbKiss Game 20
    21. 21. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 2. Connect Trust Reciprocate 21 Write Friend’s Name On the back
    22. 22. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 3. Respect from Those You Admire SOCIAL DOMINANCE MOOD FOOD! SEROTONIN REOCOGNITION EXPRESS PRIDE RECIPROCATE 22
    23. 23. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 3. Respect from Those You Admire 23 Draw a Line to People & Serious Fun
    24. 24. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Tinder Recognition Game 24
    25. 25. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 3. Respect from Those You Admire 25 How Share Accomplishments?
    26. 26. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 4. Euphoria From Exertion MASKS PAIN ENDORPHIN EUPHORIA LAUGH CRY EXERCISE 26
    27. 27. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 4. Euphoria From Exertion 27 Draw a Line to Hard & Serious Fun
    28. 28. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® 5. World Changing “Likes” on Goals Mean More 28 Remember you can be a game changer too. For yourself, your friends, and your planet.
    29. 29. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® Contact XEO to Increase Your Fun 29 Prizes! Tweet your dream @NicoleLazzaro #CCSF14 nlazzaro@xeodesign.com #CCSF14 Games & DOSE to make us happier Goals Reward Connect Trust Respect From Those Admire Euphoria From Exertion
    30. 30. www.xeodesign.com © 2014 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign® XEODesign Consulting Unlock Human Potential with Play 30 Game Your Brain to Achieve Your Dream and You Win! Contact XEODesign nlazzaro@xeodesign.com
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