Part of why Fortnite is so popular is the way it uses random rewards –and I don’t mean just loot drops.
I talk to veteran game designer Jason Vandenberghe, who has turned to psychology and personality theory to understand and empathize with what kinds of experiences gamers want.
Why universities and other institutions offering degrees in the gaming industry are having students take Psychology 101.
Three lessons about the psychology of in-game purchases, illustrated by Destiny 2’s Tess Everis.
How cognitively demanding games can be a big help with developing certain mental and social skills, especially for kids with special needs.
Today’s special guest contributor tells us how to use psychology to make loot boxes truly evil.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …TWELVE AUDIO ARTICLES!
In which we apply some lessons from the psychology behind combining losses and gains to leveling up in video games.
In this episode my guest expert and I discuss what psychology has to say about online harassment in games: what causes it, what predicts it, and how we might be able to curb it.
Horizon: Zero Dawn’s hunting challenges make good use of goal setting psychology, but here’s how they could do a little better.
Is it possible to be addicted to video games? How well are scientists doing at finding out?
How a few seconds with one trick from social psychology may help players get along better.
Why do people play games that simulate jobs, even their own jobs that they spend hours doing every day?
How morality and moral choices affect game design and how we play.
Here’s little psychological trick Heroes of the Storm uses to make us feel better about our performance after a match…
How avatars can affect our attitudes towards games –and life outside of games.
How one bit of negative information in a game review or forum post can color our entire perception of a game.
Why do people collect things in video games, and how can game designers make it more enjoyable and worthwhile?
A cognitive bias helps explain why some people insist that they carry the whole team in online competitive games.
I interview the authors of the new book Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong.
How being good at games can make you more open to improving other parts of your self.
I talk to the author of the new book, A Parent’s Guide to Video Games about psychology, kids, video games, and what we really know (and don’t know).
What we can learn from Blizzard’s changes to Overwatch about creating a sense of procedural fairness.
In this episode I talk about how some psychologists are using video games as a therapy tool.
How one simple trick from the psychology of persuasion could lead to better gaming experiences.
This episode’s guest helps us understand what motivates us to play games, and even specific games in particular.
How checklists and quest logs get us to keep playing.
How a certain kind of deliberate practice might help gamers get good.
How rewarding Overwatch players with bonus loot boxes may push them back towards Quick Play.
Pitfalls, limitations, and caveats around research on video game aggression and addiction.
30 questions about psychology and video games that I wish academics would answer (or answer better).
Can the presence of NPCs affect our performance the same as having real people watching us?
Do achievements, badges, and other sources of external motivation always work as game designers expect, or can they undermine motivation to play?
How achievements, trophies, and badges in games can lower player motivation under the wrong circumstances.
Enjoy the audio versions of 12 Psychology of Games articles all assembled together for your listening pleasure.
How failure can feel like success and motivate you to keep playing under the right circumstances.
I need your help preparing for an upcoming talk. Let’s brainstorm!
What’s the formula for habit-forming mobile games like Pokemon Go? How do you break these habits if you don’t want them?
Twitch has added microtransactions as a way to support streamers. Cool. But what are some psychological quirks at play?
How can biofeedback and psychophysiology –the physiological bases of mental processes– be used to design better video games?
Do achievements, badges, and trophies in video games work? If so, why?
What is it about video games that make them such effective tools for learning and teaching people new material?
How Dark Souls 3 taught me to be a better parent by encouraging me to embrace failure.
In this episode we discuss friendships and other relationships formed in online games. Can they substitute for offline relationships? Are they better or worse in some ways?
Sign up to get Psychology of Games articles delivered via e-mail every time something new goes up.
Wait. Don’t identify that loot yet. You’ll enjoy it more.
I talk with Ben Lewis Evans, a psychologist and UX researcher at Epic Games, about simulation sickness in VR and how developers work around it.
A recording of the slide deck I used for a lecture on video games, psychology, and product engagement.
Video: How a small tweak to Blizzard’s new game might nudge people towards sportsmanship.
Enjoyed the articles and podcasts over the years? Kick a buck or two my way to keep them coming.
Nick Yee from Quantic Foundry talks about their research on what motivates different kinds of people to play different kinds of games.