With the Xbox One and PS4 in stores this month, many of us are comparing bulleted lists of features when trying to decide which to buy. That’s a step up from blind fanboyism, but such an approach can still trigger a couple of mental errors in judgment. Here’s how to avoid them.
With the help of researchers in psychology and marketing, let’s explore why we tend to get nostalgic about old games, why we may be fooling ourselves about how great they were, why it may be a good thing anyway, and why it makes us vulnerable to marketers.
What effect does using highly sexualized avatars have on our preoccupation with body image and acceptance of rape myths? Some new research on self-perception theory and virtual reality avatars suggests some things you should be aware of the next time you sit down at a character creation screen.
The “less is more” effect can make one product seem more valuable than another even though it has less to offer. The Humble Bundle deals provide a great real-world example of how you might be willing to pay more if the deals were presented in just a slightly different way.
Candy Crush Saga is the most popular game on Facebook, iOS, and Android. Unsurprisingly, it uses a few psychological levers to move its players, and this article focuses on one of them to answer the question: Why do they limit the number of lives you have per day instead of letting you play as much as you want?
Level designers often use colors to guide players along their way. The psychology of inattentional blindness and traffic accidents has more in common with this than you might think.
My latest column over at Gamesindustry.biz looks at the question of whether we’d be happier if we had to stick with our choices in games instead of always having the option to respec, respend, and revise without penalty.
The first person exploration game Gone Home is one of the most immersive games I’ve ever seen, and it was done with just a tiny budget and team relative to AAA games. Let’s look at what theories of spatial presence have to say about what the developers did and why it works so well.
For some reason, author David McReady asked me to be his guest on his You Are Not So Smart podcast. As you might guess, we talked about psychology and video games.
All else being equal, do you enjoy the games you pay full price for as much as the ones you buy on sale for cheap? While it of course first depends on the game, a certain well known theory in psychology suggests that paying $60 for the new Tomb Raider game when it came out…