The Enjoyment of Videogames


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Slides from my Researching Games 2011 presentation on the Enjoyment of Videogames.

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The Enjoyment of Videogames

  1. 1. Enjoyment of Video Games Dipl. Psych. Christian Roth Department of Communication Science Motivations and Mechanics
  2. 2. Pong 1972
  3. 3. GTA: San Andreas 2006
  4. 4. Crysis 2008
  5. 5. Minecraft 2011
  6. 6. Creations in minecraft
  7. 7. Motivations to Play
  8. 8. What is Play? Play is freely chosen, intrinsically motivated and normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment Play is a make-believe activity without serious consequences Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens (1935)
  9. 9. Play as preparation Theory inspired by the observation that play often mimics adult themes of survival
  10. 10. play trains e.g. concentration, problem solving, social skills Play to gain skills and mood management
  11. 11. Curiosity …is an emotion related to natural inquisitive behavior such as exploration, investigation, and learning
  12. 12. Exploration in Video Games Players seek for ressources, treasure, items, adventures, challenges, surprises, story twists, etc.
  13. 13. The brain rewards successful learning (“aha-moments“) by releasing endomorphin, an opiate that we experience as pleasurable. Neurochemical reward
  14. 14. Game designer Raph Koster: „Fun is just another word for learning“ “Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. With games, learning is the drug.“
  15. 15. What is Play? Play is freely chosen, intrinsically motivated and normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment
  16. 16. Intrinsic Motivation motivation comes more from intrinsic drivers than from extrinsic
  17. 17. Self Determination Theory Intrinsic Motivation
  18. 18. Perceived Autonomy and Competence
  19. 19. Open World / Sandbox Games
  20. 20. Social Relatedness
  21. 21. MMORPGs like World of Warcraft
  22. 22. Shooter games like Counter Strike
  23. 23. Browser games like Seafight
  24. 24. Social network games like Mafia Wars
  25. 25. Maslow‘s Pyramid of Needs All needs motivate us all the time, some stronger than others. Games can fulfill these needs Power, growth and survival are popular settings
  26. 26. Research Example
  27. 27. Motivations of Online Games Nick Yee, 2007
  28. 28. Motivations of Online Games Nick Yee, 2007 Identity
  29. 29. Escapism
  30. 30. World of Warcraft
  31. 31. Play theorist Brian Sutton-Smith: "the opposite of play is not work, it is depression.”
  32. 32. Reality is broken “Games make us happier, more creative, more resilient and better able us to lead others in world- changing efforts.”
  33. 33. Behavioral Game Mechanics Gold medal mechanics that engage people and make games entertaining
  34. 34. Structured Experience clear goals, clear rules, clear feedback motivating challenge motivating evaluation fun
  35. 35. Feedback accelerates Mastery points are an easy way to measure skill
  36. 36. Combination of mechanics in the popular social network game Farmville clear goal clear rule clear feedback clear actions
  37. 37. pleasure/pain hope/fear social accept./ rejection Simplicity Factors: time, money, physical effort, social deviance facilitator, spark, signal, affordance, call to action
  38. 38. Games engage us in Flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1960s, positive psychology
  39. 39. Scaffolded Challenges 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Easy learning: simple challenges and fast milestone rewards More and harder challenges, more and different kinds of rewards, milestone rewards harder to achieve matched to the users‘ growing skills Epic ending / endless game (new milestones added permanently)
  40. 40. Intermittent Reinforcement Games tap into our primal response patterns
  41. 41. Collecting a set is a powerful mechanic
  42. 42. Competition and Status social comparison is a strong mechanic
  43. 43. The 4 Fun Keys Hard Fun Fiero People Fun Amusement Easy Fun Curiosity Serious Fun Relaxation emotion < choice < mechanic > choice > emotion
  44. 44. Thank you very much for your attention! Department of Communication Science Contact Christian Roth