A Dark Future for Gamification?

on Oct 10, 2012
Gamification can be a powerful tool, but also a locus of debate. Is it the perfect way to help us become better versions of ourselves, making beneficial but uninteresting tasks more engaging? Or is the gamification carrot not as healthy as we think,...

From Bungeling Bay to The Sims

on Sep 16, 2012
The Sims is the immensely popular "life simulation" game that has set itself apart not only by its unique gameplay and commercial success, but by its ability to cross demographic boundaries in way few other videogames have. As such, it's fascinating...

The Origins of Flow

on Sep 11, 2012
As a reader of MP, there's a decent chance that you're already familiar with the concept of "flow" championed by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced like this, not this). If you aren't up to speed on it, fear not; I'll go into...

SharpBrains - get your brain training fix

on Aug 28, 2012
"Brain training" games have gone mainstream, popularized by big-name offerings like Nintendo's Brain Age. Exactly how much cognitive benefit these game provide is far from clear,though; depending on the study you look at, they're significant (in the...

What do *you* look at when you play Tetris?

on Jul 15, 2012
Well, if you're an expert player it's almost certainly different than what novice players pay attention to, and that's exactly what the psychological literature on expertise would predict. Researchers looking at everything from athletes to burglars...