Psychological tricks used in games

“Design Outside the Box” is one truly amazing presentation performed by Jesse Schell, a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. He brings us his vision how gaming will evolve beyond Facebook and other social media.

In Jesse’s presentation at DICE2010, he makes a statement, that gaming will have a far greater impact on our daily lives than most of us might think. Socially engaging Facebook games — like Mafia Wars and Farmville 2 — use neat psychological tricks to keep you hooked. They lure the player into the depths of addicting click-o-enslavement with psychological cleverness.

It’s easy to rationalize and think it must be worthwhile, because you spend so much time on it.  That is exactly what happened with me. As a matter of fact, Mafia Wars actually was the reason I joined Facebook in the first place.  I never really did admit it, but I wanted to beat her mafia gang so bad in the game. I just kept on playing.

What are these psychological tricks used in games?

I encourage you to watch this truly pioneering presentation. You can also read more about similar tricks from the internet. The presentation itself is quite old, but everything Jesse presents to us is still fresh and mind expanding.