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Motivate. Play. - Aurora

Motivate. Play. - Aurora
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 details in just a moment. The notion is immensely popular among game designers and theorists, whether they want to leverage games' power to put us into a flow state to pursue social good, are using psychophysiological tools to quantify flow and keep players in it, or simply using it as the blueprint for good game design. But as much as the games community wants to take flow as its own, there's more to the story. I finally sat down and read Csikszentmihalyi's principal book on the topic, and the truth of the matter is that "flow" is much more than a gaming concept. The key realization, and the one Csikszentmihalyi is famous for, is that there's a sweet spot where challenge and skill are well-matched that he dubbed the "flow channel". Related:  Games

Welcome to Flow in Games Abstract | Introduction | Foundation | Design Flow in Games | Implement Flow in Games | Conclusion | Bibliography “TWENTY-THREE HUNDRED YEARS AGO Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness...” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) Motivation In the last 30 years, as a form of entertainment, video games have evolved from confined arcade activities into a mature media. Video games have deeply infiltrated our daily life and our society. As if toys expanded every child’s imagination, modern videogames take advantage of a player's active involvement to open more possibilities than any other existing mediums. However, video games are still recognized by the majority, who do not play video games, as shallow and aggression-provoking materials. Due to the nature of marketing and business, making video games purely for non-gamers is too risky and impractical. The quality and the budget of typical commercial video games today can easily reach over 20 million dollars.

Dissertation « The Dreaming Game Designer This large post has the final version of my dissertation, be advised that the word count came in at 6585 words, it’s a long read but you should be able to just skip to the Further Issues & The Nature of Puzzles sections right at the end without losing out on too much content. The Challenge of Puzzle Solving in Games – Robert Farr Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of BA in Creative Computer Games Design at Swansea Metropolitan University (Formerly Swansea Institute of Higher Education) Table of Contents Word Count 6585 Chapter 1: Introduction What is a game? In order to do the above it is first necessary to examine the definition of a game as this informs further discussion of the reasons for why adventure games have suffered recently. For simplicity we shall instead focus on a definition authored by game designer Greg Costikyan. What is a First Person Shooter? What is a Graphic Adventure Game? Chapter Summary Chapter 2: First Person Shooter Half-Life Far Cry 2

Neurology of Gaming, Infographic « All Kinds of Minds As with most things, “gaming” (or being engaged in video games) has both positives and negatives when it comes to developing minds. Too much gaming, and the positive effects are overshadowed by the negative. Yet, the right balance can add another avenue for pursuing educational goals and achievement. As a result, more and more programs are using gaming to reach and teach students in ways they never could before. Therapy programs, schools, and even research scientists have all benefitted from the strategic use of games to increase successes. Below is an infographic from Online Universities looking at the brain on games. Image: Online University Like this: Like Loading...

The Philosophy of Game Design (part 1) The Escapist Magazine. If you've ever said that a videogame was "bad" for any reason - is evil, is nothing new, is too hard, is pretentious, is inaccessible, is sexist - in the performance of your royal duties as Grand Arbiter of Good Taste, then you also have to define and articulate what is a "good" game for us simple-minded folk. So, what makes a "good" game? Well, it all depends on whether you believe in absolute truth. (No, really!) For purposes of simplification, I will ignore all traditions of ancient philosophy that took place outside of Greece. Aristotle argued for a type of pluralism, where the purpose of a society was to ensure its individual citizens flourished (and by citizens, he meant only the small portion of Greek society that was the educated male land-owning military and gentry - sorry, women and slaves, no flourishing for you!) So, an Aristotelian philosophy of game design would presume the existence of a "citizen" - the hardcore gamer.

Making Computer Games Is Easy « Meditations on First Gaming Phil Well, not really. Obviously the process of actually making a real game is laboriously difficult and beset with more problems than you could ever presuppose (which is sort of the point), so difficult that any project of any size will find it hard to ever estimate how long their game will take to make. If we are talking man hours to actual end content making games is ludicrously difficult. So maybe we can say finishing a game is hard, but actually making one? Mario is a paradigm we all understand, controls and rules we are familiar with, so where ever the game wants to pull off its quirk (Time Travel! But that’s the thing. My premier theory for Why All Games Are Shit ™ (Alternatively: Why Gaming Isn’t An Art-form ™ or Why All Mainstream Games Are The Same ™) is that to ever get to the position in any studio that gets its works published you’d already have to A. Which leads me back to the indies. After all, designing games is hard, making games is easy. Like this: Like Loading...

Game Player Motivations - Aurora I included a simple way to break down the major categories of motivation for any game in my recent book, Game On. This can help you think about the different things that motivate players in almost any game: My goal with the four quadrants of player motivation draw upon prior work by Richard Bartle . Bartle broke player motivations down into explorers, socializers, killers and achievers. My goal is to provide everyone with a new model of player motivations that have the simplicity of Bartle’s original formulation, yet which can apply to nearly any game that exists–not simply MUDs or MMORPGs. In my formulation, there are two axes that define the environment the player is in: the horizontal axis is the number of players involved in an element of gameplay. According to these axes, the four quadrants are: Immersion: stories, roleplaying, exploration, imagination, and a sense of connectedness to the world of the game. Achievement: sense of progress, mastery of skills and knowledge, etc.

Games Some Struggles Teachers Face Using Games in the Classroom Lack of time and administrative support are just some of the obstacles to using games in the classroom. Continue Reading The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning explains key ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. This guide makes sense of the available research and provides suggestions for practical use. Continue Reading How Digital Games Help Teachers Make Connections to Lessons and Students Teachers finding the most success are good at creatively connecting the game back to the curriculum, while allowing it to maintain the qualities of a good game. Continue Reading Video Games and the Future of the Textbook Curriculum designers are rethinking not only the textbook, but educational content delivery in general. Continue Reading Could Video Games Measure Skills That Tests Can’t Capture? Continue Reading Screen Time That’s Valuable For Young Kids

Do Video Games Make Depression Worse? When I was in the height of my depression (or low, really) a few months ago/for the past year, I couldn't really play video games at all; they didn't make it worse. Interestingly, while overall I stagnated, my ability to engage with other media stayed the same. It was much like Brian Taylor discusses his issues with gaming and depression: "Playing games was a chore. “Of course it was!” you may say. Or maybe that I didn’t want to, or that I couldn’t, move." I think framed that way, it makes a lot of sense. And now that I'm a bit better I can actually play games often.

National Geographic, plan it green! Following the news and arguments on city builders’ games, 18th of March last National geographic published a social simulation game. Plan it Green, a new generation serious game, helps with a casual gameplay building the youth ecological awareness. National Geographic, the world’s largest non-profit scientific and educational organisation founded to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge, has developed in partnership with GE (NYSE: GE) and the Center for Science, a free-to-play online game allowing players to design their own city and build it into the greenest, most energy-efficient urban centre in the world. Plan it Green: The big Switch is exactly what its title says: an eco-friendly game with a serious dimension in it. The lesson that National Geographic teaches takes the player a step further than those normally learned at school. Built on a multi-player online platform, Plan it Green teaches about energy technology and better energy future.

The Alien Hive team shares tips and concepts from the game's development Alien Hive arrived on the App Store a little while ago, and I wrote it up as a Daily App a little bit after that. Since then, however, it's stuck in my brain, and I find myself coming back to it again and again. The developer is based overseas and named Appxplore -- they're also the team behind two games called Sporos and Lightopus, great-looking puzzle games with plenty of polish. But neither of those titles has caught my fancy the way Alien Hive has -- there's something about the game's relatively slow, thoughtful mix of match-three, tile-based gameplay that has me interested, and constantly trying to make more and better moves to keep from running out of energy before a new high score. After I asked the team about the game's development, they kindly sent us some exclusive concept art to share with you. The robot art here is very interesting as well. Finally, Appxplore shared some tips with me about their various strategies behind playing the game.

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