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4 Keys and Psychology of Fun from Awareness to Impact GSummit


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Standing on top of a temple in Egypt I had a vision of how to change the world with play. Games and work both require decisions, only games are often more engaging. Today we can use what people are naturally inclined to do to architect systems of engagement to better themselves and their world. We can use these games to succeed where corporations and public service institutions have failed. We can use the psychology of fun to create games of engagement to make us happier and smarter, help us achieve our goals, solve challenging problems like poverty and climate change.

Research shows that people who are in a happy engaged brain states are 50% more productive. We can use the emotions from play to create brain states that drive success in the workplace and in life. Over thirty years games have evolved techniques to create strong emotions that drive play. Ultimately these games can actually deliver public services, such as Tilt World a game to plant 1 million trees.

Movies like Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, viral videos like Kony 2012 raise awareness about important issues. Games, the medium of the 21st century, have the power to turn this awareness into action. In this talk we cover what brain states improve performance, how games create engagement to create these brain states, how to design the specific choices with the Four Keys to Fun, and ultimately how to amplify a game's impact on the player and the real world.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education

4 Keys and Psychology of Fun from Awareness to Impact GSummit

  1. XEODesign: Putting Emotion in Play The Four Keys to Engagement The Psychology of Fun:Transform Awareness to Impact with the Emotions from Play Nicole Lazzaro XEODesign, Inc. GSummit SF, April 18, 2013 @NicoleLazzaro 1©2013 XEODesign Inc.
  2. I Am of the Pong Generation 2I Grew Up Reading Sci Fi and Playing Games in the Arcades
  3. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 20 Years of Player Experience Research and DesignXEODesign 3 100 Million Player Experiences
  4. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. How Can Fun Take Us from Awareness to Impact? Want Reality Work Fun 20% 20%Fun Work80% 80% 4If This Is What We Want, Why Is This What We Get?
  5. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Create Natural Engagement Fun 20% Work 30% Fun Work 50% 5The 4 Keys to Engagement: What we want is more fun
  6. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Dopamine Enhances Focus It Rewards and Feels Good Too DOPAMINE • Reward System • Focus increases focus (addiction is an over focus) • Love brain centers activate Instead of aiming for addiction, let’s use dopamine for good! Help people focus on what they need to unlock their potential and improve their quality of life. 6Positive Brain States Focus Attention
  7. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Positive Engaged Brains Boost Productivity 50% Positive Mental States Increase: • 50% more productive • 237% generated new leads • Up to 50% closed sales faster • 210% increased profits • 67–100% more emotionally engagedFear State Happy State AMA Survey 2013 7If You Want People to Think Fear Is Not A Great Motivator
  8. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Deep Engagement = Fun The Good News is that Happiest Moments are in the Zone • In Flow engaged and happy • Balance difficulty and skill • Fiero requires frustration o/Modified from “Flow” Csikszentmnihalyi 8 Work Also Requires a Balance of Difficulty and Skill
  9. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Emotion During Play Fiero Curiosity Amusement RelaxationWatched Player Emotions to Measure Kinds of Engagement
  10. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Categorized Most Engaging Moments by Player EmotionFrustration WonderFiero SurpriseRelief CuriositySchadenfreude RelaxAmusement DesireNaches Excite Positive Engagement Player’s Favorite Moments Created Many Kinds of Emotions 10
  11. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Identified Engagement MechanicsFrustration WonderFiero SurpriseRelief CuriosityCHOICES CHOICESSchadenfreude RelaxAmusement DesireNaches ExciteCHOICES CHOICES Positive Engagement 11 Player Choices Create Many Kinds of Emotions
  12. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Created Map for Designing EngagementFrustration WonderFiero SurpriseRelief CuriosityCHOICES CHOICESSchadenfreude RelaxAmusement DesireNaches ExciteCHOICES CHOICES Positive Engagement 12 Identified Systems to Create Engagement
  13. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. This Model Increases Engagement Metrics 20-40% 13We are More Engaged When Emotion Surrounds Choice
  14. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 4 Keys To Engagement Novelty, Challenge, Friendship, Meaning • Most Engaging Moments created emotion • Best Selling Games have 3-4 keys 14Easy Fun> Hard Fun> People Fun> Serious Fun
  15. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 15Free to Download at:
  16. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Hard FunYou can’t just push a button to win 16Challenge> Novelty> Friendship> Meaning
  17. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc.Obstacle Goal Strategy 17 Hard Fun
  18. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Easy FunThe bubble wrap of game design 18Challenge> Novelty> Friendship> Meaning
  19. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Easy Fun 19Easy Fun: Controls, Creativity, Exploration, Fantasy
  20. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. People Fun People are addictive 20Challenge> Novelty> Friendship> Meaning
  21. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. People Fun 21People Fun: Communicate, Cooperate, Compete
  22. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Serious FunPlay creates value through learning and meaning 22 Challenge> Novelty> Friendship> Meaning
  23. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Serious Fun 23Serious Fun: Impact, Collection, Rhythm
  24. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Play is How We Learn Dr. Sergio Pellis Rats who played are better at* • Novelty • Problem Solving • Social Skills • Handling Stress *Compared to Rats without same age playmateI’m Often Asked What Play Can Do for Us 24
  25. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Awareness to Impact: Here’s what you can do • Take players through all 4 engagement loops • Design strong emotional brain state required for the desired action • Design systems to create brain states with your brand’s emotions 25The Four Keys> Emotion> Engagement
  26. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc.Easy Fun: Emotion fromInteraction is Enjoyed andRemembered More 26 Input> Output> Result
  27. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Hard Fun: Reward From Challenge Increases Engagement 27Challenge> Strategy> Progress
  28. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. People Fun: Emotion Between Friends Increases Engagement and Viral Spread 28Communicate> Cooperate> Compete
  29. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Serious Fun: Meaningful Experiences are More Engaging 29Serious Fun: Values and Meaning
  30. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Tilt World: Points to Trees 30Real World Impact Amplifies the Results and Meaning
  31. Tag You’re It!Nicole Lazzaro• Email:• Twitter: @NicoleLazzaro• Blog:• Game: TiltWorld.comThe 4 Keys to Fun PosterFree Download• Download Tilt World• An iOS game that• <- Downloads plants trees!
  32. © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Motivation"If you want to build a ship, dont drum upthe men to gather wood, divide thework, and give orders. Instead, teach themto yearn for the vast and endless sea."- Saint-Exupéry 32 Motivation is About Values and Meaning