Week 1

EDET679 – Week 1

Week 1 What common characteristics do engaging games have?

According to McGonigal’s video, “Gaming Can Make a Better World” there are 4 characteristics that are appealing to gamers:

  1. Urgent optimism- or self-motivation, where gamers work hard for an “epic win.”
  2. Social fabric- how gaming can build stronger social relationships.
  3. Blissful productivity- where gamers feel glad at the end of their “epic win,” for working hard.
  4. Epic meaning- Gamers love being attached to aspiring missions.

These four characteristics are how McGonigal believes gamers can apply meaningful, real world work.

Gamers value video games based on whether or no they provide a Flow experience. Flow is the “feeling of complete and energized focus in an activity, with a high level of enjoyment and fulfillment,” (Chen, 2007). According to Csikszentmihalyi, there are 8 major components of Flow, which are not all needed go achieve Flow.

  1. A challenging activity requiring skill.
  2. A merging of action and awareness.
  3. Clear goals.
  4. Direct, immediate feedback.
  5. Concentration on the task at hand.
  6. A sense of control.
  7. A loss of self-consciousness.
  8. An altered sense of time.

According to Chen, engaging games usually follow this four-step methodology: having the right balance of challenge and ability to keep their players in the “Flow zone,” mixing and matching the components of flow, offering adaptive choices so the gamer can enjoy Flow in their own way, and embedding choices into the activities so Flow cannot be interrupted.

There are five categories that are appealing to gamers saying Tocci. The first is accomplishment. Gamers are appealed to that extrinsic and intrinsic success. The second is imagination. Gamers are appealed to a world of pretending and storytelling. The third is socialization. Gamers are appealed to that friendly, social interaction. The fourth is recreation. Gamers are appealed to adjusting to that physical, emotional, and mental state, and lastly subversion. Gamers are appealed to breaking social or technical rules.

There are many things that make games engaging. Urgent optimism, social fabric, blissful thinking, and epic meaning are things Jane McGonigal believes make games engaging. Chen listed 8 components of Flow games are usually based on: a challenging activity, a merging of action and awareness, clear goals, direct and immediate feedback, concentration on the task at hand, a sense of control, a loss of self-consciousness, and an altered sense of time. Lastly, Tocci listed five categories that appeal to gamers: accomplishment, imagination, socialization, recreation, and subversion.


Chen, J. (2007, April). Flow in Games (and Everything Else). Retrieved September 8, 2016.

Gaming can make a better world. (2010, February). Retrieved September 08, 2016 http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world?language=en

Tocci, B. J. (2016). Types of Players vs. Types of Appeals. Retrieved September 08, 2016, from http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/168807/five_ways_games_appeal_to_players.php?print=1




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s