Introducing Lauren Collister

on Nov 18, 2012
I'd like to take a moment to introduce Lauren Collister, who is a new writer joining our staff. Lauren is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at University of Pittsburgh. Her focus is in sociolinguistics, which is the study of...

A technical note for game analysts

on Nov 12, 2012
Twice now I have reviewed and subsequently rejected papers that attempt to analyze the price of games in terms of real currency and the price of virtual items in terms of virtual currency. I've had to do so on the basis of a fairly serious oversight...

How to Reduce Antisocial Behavior

on Nov 2, 2012
Recently Bungie (Halo 4)  and NCsoft (Guild wars 2) have both taken a very aggressive stance on antisocial behavior in chat channels. Both companies have begun to ban players who use hate speech. Now, as far as I can tell banning such behavior can...

Reality Mining at Cogito

on Oct 31, 2012
Cogito Health is a young technology startup based in Charlestown, MA developing tools for real-time monitoring of customer engagement. Though their way of operationalizing engagement differs in marked ways from the game-centric way we usually...

What Can Serious Games Learn from Soap Operas?

on Oct 24, 2012
The serious games industry—if “industry” is the right word for a ragtag handful of academics and idealistic startups—is in a deceptively precarious position. Funding for games and gamified applications is at record levels in the public and...

Refining the flow diagram

on Oct 19, 2012
Last month, I posted on the origins of Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow, but the diagram I focused on there (and that tends to pervade discussion of flow among game designers) is actually a bit dated. Preparing for a reading group on engagement...

ICA CFP - Motivational Uses and Applications of Di...

on Oct 16, 2012
This year's 63rd annual conference of the International Communication Association will be including a special pre-conference event focusing on the power of play and the motivational aspects of digital games.  The event will take place in London on...

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,...

Interview with Evan Brown of the Carnegie Mellon E...

on Oct 8, 2012
At GDC last March I spoke with Evan Brown a digital artist working for Carnegie Mellon University. Earlier that day Evan had participated on a GDC panel where he talked about the Augur Project  at the Carnegie Mellon ETC. According to the Augur...

Death and Taxes

on Oct 3, 2012
Two things you can't escape, even in a fantasy world.  But more on death some other time. For now, let's talk markets and taxes. Guild Wars 2 is a month out of the gate and presents players with a trading system that represents a major shift from...

Managing player tension with Nevermind

on Sep 21, 2012
The idea of implementing physiological sensing and dynamic player-system feedback loops in game design has been previously touched on here at MP.   And, more recently, we've considered the potential role and implementation of fear within...

Featured on Scientific American

on Sep 19, 2012
I'm excited to announce that one of our founding members - Jared Lorince - has published an article with Scientific American called, Chasing LaPlace's Demon. The article covers how simple decision making heuristics can outperform much more...