lunes, 18 de marzo de 2013

Playing to Happiness: Part 2

After some more weeks i am back for more with the second part of the series “Playing to Happiness”.

In our latest post we established the link between funny stuff and happiness through emotions felt when playing. It is the turn of human and gaming motivations and how they are linked to happiness, but before starting, lets summarise our last blog with an example 

Imagine yourself playing the Candy Crush Saga, a puzzle style game such as tetris. What do you feel when you finally get that super hard level 103? 

Or imagine you got level 85 in World of Warcraft after so many hours, what would you feel?

I have seen friends bursting of happiness with a big smile in their faces when accomplishing a big achievement,no matter what kind of game it was, saying: yes!!! Got you!!!

That feeling of accomplishment is one of the 5 PERMA factors of happiness, and if we combine it with the social factor and flow produced when playing Candy Crush or Team Fortress 2 (Counter-Strike style game powered by Steam) the experience is sure to create a hit!

The second part of “Playing to happiness” is related to human motivations and player motivations.
Experts and researchers like Reiss or Daniel H. Pink have classified human motivators in general categories that explain human desires. It is not the perfect or most accurate list ever done due to the complexity of human nature but it is very useful to understand that when we play, our player motivations are linked to our human general motivations.

Reiss describes 16 human motivators such as power, curiosity, order, honor, status, feeding…etc (All of them can be found in John Radoff´s  “Game On” book) that drive people and all of them can be classified in Maslow´s Pyramid or Daniel H.Pink 3 Drives (See the book “Drive”).

In addition to this, when we play a game like “Celtic Tribes” (the new Travian for iOS and Android devices) in which we have to develop our own empire, join alliances and defeat enemies, we experiment 4 main motivations defined by Bartle and later Yee that are:

-         -  Achievement (trying to get more points)
-         -  Immersion (getting into the world and playing a feudal lord role)
-         -  Competition (being more powerful and having more troops than enemies)
-         -  Cooperation (working as a team to be the best alliance of the world)

The outstanding conclusion is that no matter what game we play, we will be always driven by these 4 major gaming forces that are closely linked to the 16 human motivators of Reiss making the connection between games and happiness even stronger.

So to sum up, happiness is achieved by games through the emotions experimented. Besides, while playing we are fulfilling many of our human motivations because they are immediately linked to gaming motivations, making us even happier. 

Victor Manrique

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