Podcast 39: Thirty Questions About the Psychology & Games

I’m at PAX West participating in panels and making new friends, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get a new podcast. Enjoy this audio presentation of a lecture I gave about 30 things I wish researchers would study (or study more) about the psychology of video games. And why it would be great if they did.

Also, Patreon supporters can view a video of this presentation, along with a slide deck by performing semi-precise clicking motions here. If you so desire! Otherwise, see below on how to subscribe to the podcast or stream this episode from this page.

Audio Credits

  • Robot Motivation” by The Polish Ambassador, licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-SA 3.

Oh, and those 30 questions are:

  1. How can games be used for stress recovery?
  2. What are the functions of in-game relationships?
  3. Can games help you learn emotional skills?
  4. What triggers in-game purchases?
  5. What do people think of those who “pay to win”?
  6. Do certain game elements motivate by setting goals?
  7. Why are random loot drops so motivating?
  8. Why do people love really difficult games?
  9. How do we link game mechanics with game motivators/types?
  10. How is identity or other info signaled through showing off?
  11. Does deliberate practice make you better at games?
  12. Why do players grind?
  13. Does forcing players to take breaks do them (or anyone) any good?
  14. What effects do tutorials, instructions, or overbearing help have on how people play?
  15. How do leaders in MMOs influence their guildmates?
  16. How does social proof affect our perceptions of games?
  17. How do gamers form perceptions of justice and fairness?
  18. How does streaming affect how a game is played?
  19. How do hot/cold emotional states or arousal affect our decision-making in games?
  20. Does the history of an in-game object have an effect on how much we value it?
  21. How do sunk costs affect how we view and play games?
  22. How do our decision-making heuristics show up in games?
  23. Does the mere exposure effect soften our reaction to the Wii-U?
  24. How do leaderboards drive competition?
  25. How do group dynamics affect competition?
  26. What makes for a good AI teammate or opponent?
  27. What’s up with immersion / spatial presence in video games?
  28. How do games create fear, horror, anger, joy, or other specific emotions?
  29. Why do people cheat in games?
  30. How do you reduce toxic behavior and harassment?

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