Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"The Psychology of Choice" - Implications for game design

Gamasutra - Features - "The Psychology of Choice" [02.06.02]

The play of any computer game can be described as a series of choices. The total path of a player through the game is the result of a thousand little choices, leading to success or failure in the game and to enjoyment or dislike of the game itself. The principles underlying the choices players make and the way in which a designer can shape those choices is a key component of game design.

Need to create a login at Gamasutra to see this article but I think it is worth it.

The article does not talk about the stress associated with too much choice in the Maximising section. Too much choice can lead to maximisers not making a choice. "Too much choice can in itself be demotivating." http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/articles/choice.htm


Can people feel worse off as the options they face increase? The present studies suggest that some people—maximizers—can. Study 1 reported a Maximization Scale, which measures individual differences in desire to maximize. Seven samples revealed negative correlations between maximization and happiness, optimism, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, and positive correlations between maximization and depression, perfectionism, and regret. Study 2 found maximizers less satisfied than nonmaximizers (satisficers) with consumer decisions, and more likely to engage in social comparison. Study 3 found maximizers more adversely affected by upward social comparison. Study 4 found maximizers more sensitive to regret and less satisfied in an ultimatum bargaining game. The interaction between maximizing and choice is discussed in terms of regret, adaptation, and self-blame.


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