EAs says loot boxes are just beloved “surprise mechanics.” In a way, this is true. In a more relevant way, it is not.
How much screen time is good and/or bad for the psychological well-being of kids?
Shared mental models, a concept borrowed from psychology, help explain why some teams dominate in multiplayer games.
Three simple psychological principles that help get players to pay for the Fortnite Battle Pass.
What link have researchers found between intelligence and how well you play MOBAs?
The “Squad Eliminated” screen in Apex Legends and the psychology of comparisons.
My book, “Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games” is now available in paperback.
How games provide feedback …and how they’re lacking.
Should game tutorials hold players’ hands or encourage them to fail?
How game developers might use a bit of psychology to better structure moral choices.
The same wrinkle in our thinking that explains the optimism of people paralyzed in car accidents explains why it’s so frustrating when people don’t play map objectives in video games.
Part of why Fortnite is so popular is the way it uses random rewards –and I don’t mean just loot drops.
We make new opinions more readily than we change existing ones. How can recommendation engines take advantage of this?
How obscuring players’ understanding of what’s going on might actually help them enjoy it more.
Three lessons about the psychology of in-game purchases, illustrated by Destiny 2’s Tess Everis.
Today’s special guest contributor tells us how to use psychology to make loot boxes truly evil.
In which we apply some lessons from the psychology behind combining losses and gains to leveling up in video games.
Horizon: Zero Dawn’s hunting challenges make good use of goal setting psychology, but here’s how they could do a little better.
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?
Here’s little psychological trick Heroes of the Storm uses to make us feel better about our performance after a match…
How one bit of negative information in a game review or forum post can color our entire perception of a game.
A cognitive bias helps explain why some people insist that they carry the whole team in online competitive games.
How being good at games can make you more open to improving other parts of your self.
What we can learn from Blizzard’s changes to Overwatch about creating a sense of procedural fairness.
How one simple trick from the psychology of persuasion could lead to better gaming experiences.
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.
Can the presence of NPCs affect our performance the same as having real people watching us?
How achievements, trophies, and badges in games can lower player motivation under the wrong circumstances.
How failure can feel like success and motivate you to keep playing under the right circumstances.
Twitch has added microtransactions as a way to support streamers. Cool. But what are some psychological quirks at play?
Do achievements, badges, and trophies in video games work? If so, why?
How Dark Souls 3 taught me to be a better parent by encouraging me to embrace failure.
Wait. Don’t identify that loot yet. You’ll enjoy it more.
Video: How a small tweak to Blizzard’s new game might nudge people towards sportsmanship.
Four free talks from the Game’s Developer Conference about psychology and video games.
Why some games and some experiences make us feel more helpless than others –and what designers can do about it.
Why are some games better than others at getting us to just keep playing without taking a break?
The 2015 Steam Winter Sale has ditched the daily and flash deals. Here’s why I think that may be a bad idea.
How a simple choice of words can bias your choices in video games, such as what NPC factions to support.
In celebration of Halloween, let’s look at some of the psychology behind why people like scary video games.
“Wii U” sounds silly, but Nintendo’s consoles might be benefiting a little from what’s known as the fluency effect.
An old technique from film making has psychological roots that reach into the world of video games.
How do gaming Kickstarters that rely on nostalgia make use of our irrational decision-making?
How do players react and what social comparisons do they make when others pay real money for in-game advantages?
How the irrational way we treat “free” as a price in games can lead us astray …or keep us on track.
What do the ending of the Mass Effect series and a painful medical procedure have in common? They both illustrate how memory and evaluation of experiences interact.
Some recent research suggests how to predict whether motion controls and other weird peripherals will lead to frustration or enjoyment.