The Psychology of Great Game Design

From Gamasutra, by Sean Baron, March 22, 2012

You sit down, ready to get in a few minutes of gaming. Hours pass and you suddenly become aware that you’re making ridiculous faces and moving like a contortionist while trying to reach that new high score. You ask yourself: Where did the time go? When did I sprain my ankle?

Maybe you didn’t sprain your ankle, but if you consider yourself a gamer, you’ve probably ended up in similar situations. They happen because you’ve reached a critical level of engagement with whatever game you’re playing.

More often than not, these types of gaming sessions occur when you’re playing a great game. If game developers were able to characterize and add design considerations that facilitate these engaged states they’d create more enjoyable and better selling games.

…complete article here


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