Video Game Designer Talks Designing Happiness

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Published by 11 years ago , last updated 11 months ago

Posted on May 28, 2008, Shawn Sines Video Game Designer Talks Designing Happiness


Lorenzo Wang, designer for Page 44 Studios (Freekstyle), has published a piece on translating human happiness to video games. Creating a game that will hook players with a rush of pleasure and keep them happy is the goal of every designer. There are six key findings from recent happiness research to consider when designing video games.

Part of the problem is separating happiness from pleasure which don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

For example, we all know friends who play a certain game constantly while complaining about its every flaw, like my wife when she plays World of Warcraft. She gets no happiness, having played the game to death, alone and guildless. But she gets a visceral pleasure in continuing to kill mobs, farm items, and level new characters

So here’s the list of truths on human happiness.

  1. Happiness is relative.
  2. People suck at predicting their future enjoyment.
  3. People rationalize their happiness.
  4. People tend to experience loss twice intensely as gain.
  5. Feeling in control is a significant predictor of happiness.
  6. Happiness is a perspective.

Read the full article on Gamasutra to find out how Wang turns these key elements to happiness into addicting video games.

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