B-school profs taking a hard look at games

on Mar 19, 2014
The video game industry has begun to attract significant attention from researchers in business schools and economics departments across the globe. New faculty in these fields grew up with video games, and they view the industry with a great deal of...

Fitting mobile games into players' lives

on Mar 18, 2014
Scott Rigby and Troy Skinner of Immersyve opened this year's Mobile and Tablet Summit today with a presentation entitled "Rituals of mobile gaming: Understanding the true building blocks of consumer value". Rigby and Skinner’s argument rests on...

Interview: Dmitri Williams, CEO of NinjaMetrics

on Dec 4, 2013
Amongst video game scholars, perhaps no one has been more prolific and had more impact than Dr. Dmitri Williams. Williams, a professor of communications at USC and CEO of game analytics firm NinjaMetrics, has fostered close ties with the game...

A loook at the subscription revenue model

on Sep 17, 2013
Steel yourselves: This post is a little long. Much has been made of the riskiness of Zenimax Online’s decision [4] to have a subscription-based revenue model for Elder Scrolls Online, whose release is expected early next year. Naysayers point out...

Q&A with Riot's Jeffrey Lin, Ph.D.

on Jul 2, 2013
As part of our coverage of this year's Game Developers Conference, I offered a summary of Jeffrey Lin's (Lead Designer of Social Systems for Riot Games) talk on research-informed design and his teams's work managing toxic player behavior in League...

Can games change minds?

on Jun 30, 2013
Pop quiz: For each of the following descriptions, can you name a person (fictional or real, living or dead) who meets the criteria? You have 30 seconds: go! Generous president Hispanic lawyer Visionary underwriter Female computer...

Pay-to-trade

on Jun 6, 2013
With increasing frequency, developers are restricting what can be traded inside of new games. This is especially true given the rate at which social and mobile games  are being released, but it is a trend that has crept into the more hardcore...

[GDC] SpaceChem's Zach Barth on educational game d...

on May 5, 2013
In 2011, Wired UK and New Scientist described how “SpaceChem, a science-themed puzzler hailed as one of the year's best indie games, is aiming to make the leap from bedrooms to classrooms.” Today, SpaceChem is used by schools in the United...

Player Culture: The RealID Fiasco and the Magic Ci...

on Apr 22, 2013
One of the things I’m most interested in as an ethnographer is the interface between online and offline life, and how this line is increasingly blurred. I originally became interested in this when reading about the Magic Circle, a concept which...

7 Essential Resources for Understanding Motivation...

on Apr 4, 2013
Motivation is an important topic for game designers and social scientists. Many herald the ability of games to motivate players through incentive systems, by fulfilling intrinsic needs, capturing attention, or hooking into evolved motivational...

Video games, violence, and common sense

on Apr 2, 2013
Media violence research waxes and wanes like many other research topics. Focusing events train the collective gaze of the world on single point. When Facebook changes how it shares our information, we discuss our tenuous grip on privacy. When...

GDC: Riot Experimentally Investigates Online Toxic...

on Mar 31, 2013
Riot Games has gotten a fair amount of press in recent months regarding their empirically-based research on the nature of “toxic” player behavior in League of Legends.  As a result, I wasn’t surprised to find standing room only for Jeffrey...