Game Design and the Psychology of Video Games

A video game is a structured type of interactive play, typically undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool. Games are quite different from work, which is often carried out for remuneration and unlike art, which is almost always an expression of personal or aesthetic feelings. Game play is organized around the activities the player wants to engage in, while the objective is to do those things that are intended to be achieved.

Emergence Design is about the psychology of play and how it relates to many popular video games. The main article discusses the emergent behavior of the player, which occurs due to a combination of technological and psychological forces. Video games have grown increasingly complex since the introduction of first-person shooters, which started off as simple applications (although later developed into first-person shooters with a much greater degree of freedom). Although most shooters offer some sort of story or background information, shooters themselves developed over time to become highly complex systems, with emergent behavior being one of the driving forces behind this development. Video games develop their emergent behavior through the use of game mechanics, the application of which enables the player to define and manipulate various aspects of gameplay, including character creation, weaponry use, and progressing through the levels.

This led to the development of what we now know as the main article, which refers to a game’s technical features and data, as well as the emergent behavior of the player in the game. From this main article, we can get a glimpse into the psychology of video game development. Emergence design psychology describes how certain features of a game to help players to achieve their goals, in the same way that certain features hinder the player from achieving these goals. For example, in first person shooters, the ability to move in three dimensional space helps the player to traverse spaces at a faster pace. In first person game engines, the main article refers to the items, weapons, and character models that the player sees during play.