handcircus

Games and Interaction design

Monday, February 07, 2005

A theory of Fun for Games Design

I picked up this book by Raph Koster (of Star Wars Galaxies fame) from Amazon and I'm about half way through. So far its been an interesting read, looking at aspects of what games are in perspectives that I'd not really considered before. There's some good pattern matching discussion, reminds me a bit of Chris Crawfords writing in places, but two points have really stood out. The first is the mention of learning in relation to games, and the theory that fun is a reward response produced by the brain while we are learning a new skill, and so once we have mastered a game, it is no longer fun. This discussion also extends to coverage of the fact that the majority of the brain tap into more primitive subconscious parts of the brain (reaction, aiming etc). The second point that has stood out is the notion that peoples enjoyment of a game is dependent on their personality type rather than just their personal preference. Maybe this seems obvious, and i'm just a little slow, but it is well put and explained in this book. its a very easy read, and not too long. more when i've got further in....

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