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5 Psychology Books That Contextualize Gamification Design

Image of head and brain- 5 psychology booksThe obvious and ultimate point of creating games is to satisfy players. But to do this successfully requires a complex process to develop a game that adequately anticipates and meets its target audience’s motivations. As you’ve seen reflected in previous posts, people are not always driven by logic alone, which makes this development process all the more difficult.

What we might assume to be true about human motivation and thought processes may require further examination and analysis.

While the Octalysis framework focuses on the core drives of players, these principles are expanded upon by other fields. These include behavioral science, human cognition, and other areas that focus on how and why we make decisions or naturally think the way we do. A holistic understanding of cognitive behavior will deepen your understanding of motivation, drives and how to shape experiences for desired responses.

Without further adieu, here are five insightful psychology books that will expand your perspective on the workings of human cognition.

Considering this information within the context of game design will further your ability to create truly winning experiences for players.

Author Jesse Schell makes a distinction between the actual game and the experience of the game which is what most of the book actually focuses on.

He describes good game design as the product of adopting multiple lenses or perspectives. Each lens can also be thought of as a different set of skills.

Schell presents as many as a hundred different lenses that are important for game development projects. While animation, cinematography and computer engineering are among these, there are also less obvious lenses that are also important, like anthropology, business and architecture.

Ambitious game creators who are motivated to create success for themselves and the best experiences possible for their players should read about all 100 lenses.

In Hooked, Nir Eyal presents the question of why some products are more compelling compared to others. He argues that successful products have shaped and cultivated ongoing consumer habits. Examples include Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The Art of Game Design- A Book of Lenses Thinking, Fast and Slow psychology book image


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