In which we apply some lessons from the psychology behind combining losses and gains to leveling up in video games.
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.
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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?
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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.
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Nick Yee from Quantic Foundry talks about their research on what motivates different kinds of people to play different kinds of games.
Some of my favorite stupid sentences from my book about the psychology of video games.
Four free talks from the Game’s Developer Conference about psychology and video games.
This episode I talk to Dr. Emily Collins about how video games can be used to recover from a stressful day.
Why some games and some experiences make us feel more helpless than others –and what designers can do about it.
In this episode I talk to Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson about research on the effects of video game violence.
Why are some games better than others at getting us to just keep playing without taking a break?
How do video games affect our health –both physical and mental– for better or worse?
The 2015 Steam Winter Sale has ditched the daily and flash deals. Here’s why I think that may be a bad idea.
I talk to Dr. C. Shawn Green from the University of Wisconsin-Madison about whether brain training programs work and if regular old action games can make you smarter –and what that really means.
How a simple choice of words can bias your choices in video games, such as what NPC factions to support.
I talk to Dr. Nick Bowman from West Virginia University about how video games differ from other media in terms of the demands they place on players and thus how our approaches to studying them should differ. It turns out that video games ARE special and something new.