Podcast 34: Game Design Education and Psychology 101

There are a fair number of universities and other institutions that offer classes and even degrees in fields related to the video game business, such as game design, coding, art, sound design, and user experience design. I occasionally dig into the stats for this website, which show me when another website sends readers my way. I often see links from an online syllabus for game design courses. Shoutouts to any faculty or students at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Go fightin’ …bird of some kind I think based on a quick Google image search? A Condor, maybe?

Regardless, I love when this happens. I love when people take psychology and use it to teach not only game design, but any other part of any other kind of job in the games industry. I obviously think that’s rad. And apparently it’s happening more and more often these days as faculty teaching people how to make games think, about psychology. How can social psychology inform the ways in which I build my communities? How does cognitive psychology place limits on how I can expect people to use my user interface? How are mental heuristics and learning preferences going to interfere with the tutorial levels I’m planning? Just how important is it to learn about psychology as you learn how to make games?

Those are the kinds of questions that I’m going to talk about with my guest expert in this episode of the podcast.

This episode’s guest expert, Dr. Vanessa Hemovich

Audio Credits:

  • Robot Motivation” by The Polish Ambassador, licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
  • “Deuces” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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One thought on “Podcast 34: Game Design Education and Psychology 101

  1. Learning psychology is fundamental to almost every element of game design. Color design, spatial design, interface design, etc. Why do people play? What motivates them to move forward? What kind of reward system will encourage players to play or make purchases to support the ongoing development of a game? The list is pretty much endless because, unlike most other media, gaming is interactive, and the bar for engagement is much higher.

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