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...

The effect of social networks on RMT

on Aug 29, 2012
Back in January 2012, this paper was published in the journal Information Systems Frontiers. The authors explore several hypotheses of real-life demand for virtual goods, one of which I thought was worth a blog entry, all of which are worth...

Behavior-Change Gaming – An interview with Micha...

on Aug 28, 2012
As part of MP’s coverage of last March’s GDC conference, I discussed a few interesting sessions on the growing application of games, game mechanics, and player psychology to behavior change projects and interventions.  One such...

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...

Nothing to Fear?

on Aug 24, 2012
When a game forces you into life or death circumstances and uses fear of your imminent death in its design, it’s usually labeled a survival horror.  This type and other horror games may use claustrophobic scenarios, monsters, grotesque...

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...

Serious Play Conference - August 21-23

on Jul 11, 2012
For those interested in Serious Games and willing to take a trek to the west coast the Serious Play Conference will take place Tuesday – Thursday, August 21 – 23, 2012, at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash. According...

EA - Starting a Research Lab for Engagement and Ed...

on Jun 28, 2012
EA is starting up a lab to investigate engagement and eduction. The goal seems to be to use/provide games for education to schools for little or no cost. More information courtesy of the Sacramento...

Virtual Economies: Is less information better?

on Jun 26, 2012
In the first of his promised weekly reports, Yanis Varoufakis, Valve’s new economist-in-residence, released his first analysis of a Valve game economy on Friday. In his inaugural post, Mr. Varoufakis analyzes the persistent...

Games, Learning and Society 8.0

on Jun 14, 2012
Games, Learning, and Society is one of the most exciting conferences around for anyone interested in the intersection of games, game development, and educational theory and practice. Ellen Jameson and I are on the scene at the University of...

Community in Games an Interview with Ron Meiners

on May 1, 2012
During a recent trip to San Francisco, Jim Cummings and I had the privilege of sitting down with veteran community manager Ron Meiners. Ron has worked in online community for fifteen plus years, from Myst to Burning Man, from Splinter Cell 3 to The...