Games and Fun
Games are FUN!!! Fun is joy! And fun actually means...Fun is...is... WHAT IS FUN???!!!
This is the second part of the series: "Why People Play" (see part 1 here: http://www.epicwinblog.net/2013/04/why-people-play-games-and-human.html) and it´s dedicated to fun and its connection with our human motivators.
Because in the end, playing games is all about Fun/Happiness.
The concept of Fun - The How
The truth is that defining fun is not as simple as it may seem, and that´s mainly because the concept of fun changes depending on the person that thinks of it. What is fun for me, might not be for you.
So how is fun described? Fun is defined as enjoyement, amusement or lighthearted pleasure, but the most important thing about fun is not what it is, but how it happens.
We could be hours discussing about its concept, but the really interesting part of it for gamification is what fun means for games and how to create it. To see that, we must check Jon Radoff´s Book out ("Game On") and its list of the 42 things that are fun!
The 42 things that are FUN
So Games are fun, and we already said that fun was related to happiness through the PERMA happiness factors (see the link between fun and happiness here: http://www.epicwinblog.net/2013/02/playing-to-happiness-part-1.html) but how we actually create fun?
This is Mr. Jon Radoff´s list of the 42 fun things (divided into two screenshots): that at some point is a developed model of the MD model (in concrete, the aesthetics) of Robin Hunicke, Marc Leblanc, Robert Zuker ("A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research"):
So we can see that, in example, finding random treasures is fun. Ever wonder why there´s always a random drop system in games? Or random gifts in games? You are playing today, pretty boring and..all of a sudden a great item drops! It made you day!!! Cheers to beers!!!
Or Customizing virtual worlds. A clearly fun activity that has made The Sims or Minecraft a total hit! We all know those empty fields need houses!!! Become Norman Foster and make them look EPIC!
And what about Romance? Final Fantasy and its melodramatic scenes were added just because it looked cool to have a love story (in which in the end its all fake unless you unlocked all the secret content, metagamification!) just there? Rather not!
Or mistery! Mistery makes everything funnier in games! Prof.Layton games? Not only a puzzle! Not knowing what would happen now in that game? More hours played to find out, or we cannot sleep properly!
Even nurturing is so much Fun!!! Farmville? Plants vs Zombies? Those plants are starving, they are so cute and they need your help. Give them their daily water dose and let them eat the zombies!!!
When the MAGIC comes!
We have just seen the list of "How to make games FUN" but did you realise about the small detail just in the upper part? Remember what all those things are?
YES!!! They are the 16 human motivators and its connections with the 42 fun things!!!
The most important part of games is that through fun, games are fulfilling our human motivations making us happier!!!!!!
PEOPLE PLAY GAMES BECAUSE THEY ARE A SOURCE OF HAPPINESS!!!!!
So... Do we all play games? Who is a gamer? Are we all the same when playing? We´ll find out in the next section.... (Adding some random "mistery" to it : P)