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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gone Game Crazy - Part 1

The last few weeks have been quite hectic and I've been keeping busy with some fantastic online educational sites trying to quench my thirst of burning questions about games and online gaming. In short, what makes one game more appealing than another and why do players return to some games again and again and yet leave other games on the shelf? The easy answer would be to say that's it just a better game but that answer is too vague. Why is it better? What is it that makes it more appealing?

To simply answer that it's just a better game may be a true statement but it opens up more questions than it answers. At the end of March this year I started on online course called 'Gamification' on the Coursera website The course delves into the topic of applying game design and game elements to non-game problems. It's not a course about how to make games, or design games, but instead it takes a close look at the elements of games and what makes them work up to and including the psychology of the player. It's a really interesting topic and it's no surprise that the top companies in the world are using gamification techniques to increase the sales of their products. Gamification is all around us and really affects people, it can really change their behaviour. Here's an example of how turning a staircase into a 'game' changed peoples behaviour.

Now most of you know that I'm a poker player so don't be surprised when I tell you that part of the reason I'm doing this course is to understand what makes online poker so successful. It's a multi-billion dollar industry with tens of thousands of players playing online everyday. What is it about the game that makes them come back again and again? Is it fun? I would say yes but then again I love the game. Only a small percentage are actually profitable at the game, I'm not a profitable player, but is losing money fun? Definitely no. So my next blog is going to be on the subject of what makes a game fun. Before I go here's a video review of a game I played recently that was definitely fun for me to play, I really enjoyed it. If you've any comments to make on the subject of this blog please leave a comment or tweet me @TheRoyalRaiser