The Psychology of Games

The Psychology of Games

This presentation provides an overview of various psychological phenomena and their general applicability to questions of interest for game designers across the industry. In particular, there are discussions of the myriad ways visual attention may be manipulated, the arbitrary nature of consumer preference, the impact of various cognitive biases on player choice, models of learning/skill acquisition, failures of intuition, discussion of social influences (and reductions of community toxicity), and various other topics of interest. The presentation is intended to introduce game designers to the wide array of relevant knowledge generated by experimental psychology as well as appropriate principles of experimental design that should facilitate future explorations and knowledge acquisition in this area.

Presented by Mike Ambinder from Valve


November 4, 2016 / 23 Comments / by / in
  • 10:48 "Skyrwath and then WINDRUNNER"


  • Stop saying "um", stop touching your face, stop smacking your lips, and stop looking at your feet.

    Jesus christ

  • I will now call you the "um" man from valve.

  • Skywrath? I LUL


  • I couldn't see the T either

  • What about when games outright ban players who are toxic? Does that do anything to curb player toxicity or just make it worse or stay the same?

  • give this guy a bottle of water

  • Useful stuff. Thanks

  • Am I the only one who's bothered by the fact that he constantly avoids eye contact with the audience? Don't get me wrong, it is a great talk, but I don't feel fully engaged when his body language is awkward.

  • Very interesting with great examples! Hope to see more talks

  • guys, throw off the name of the music that plays in the beginning of the movie. Shazam can not find.

  • respect to his work but for me as non english speaker (I watch all cartoons in english no problems) it was difficult to follow… is it possible to sum up his presentation?

  • Tusk…..

  • im no developer, but I found this very interesting.

  • It's Juha, not Yuha. He was Finnish.

  • great

  • riki crowd

  • 32:00 me thinks he's not talking about the player so much, as much as the devs justifying something crappy in their game instead of changing it. ^_^

  • dunning kruger effect actually means, the less skill you have, the more you over estimate your ability or competency level.

  • this guy is so bad at explaining like almost anything he's going off about… i mean it really does show too because the implemented systems are by and large fucking awful anyways…

  • Really digging this.

  • 20:20 "These are accurate wait times." That is not true in my experience. On rough average the estimation is double the actual wait time. Anyways, its fast….oh, I feel positive about it, it worked 😉

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