The Player’s Journey

Yesterday I wrote about games as pleasurable learning engines that offer up skills to master, and reward you with ever-greater challenges & opportunities. Progress metrics like points, badges, and levels are icing on this learning/mastery cake. … [Read more]

What makes games compelling?

What is it about games that holds our interest and keeps us playing? Games are compelling in so many ways; they can make our progress visible unlock new content, experience and powers connect us socially to people we care about offer … [Read more]

Radical Inclusiveness: Reflections on #GDC14

Last weekend, we visited Glide Memorial Church with our shul, Peninsula Temple Sholom. Glide in an amazing institution - their message of radical inclusiveness was woven into every aspect of the service, and volunteers were actively signing up people … [Read more]

A game developer speaks

"I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes … [Read more]

Lifecycle Design and Performing Arts Camp

We just signed up for our 7th trip at Cazerdero Family Performing Arts Camp. In early August, we'll make our yearly pilgrimage to a majestic Redwood grove near the Russian River, and setup camp with dozens of other creative-minded families. … [Read more]

#GDC14 starts this week

It's here! Today kicks off the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco -- a yearly "gathering of the tribe" AKA the wacky, creative, super-smart people that devote their lives to making games. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making … [Read more]

Tapping the Trinity of Instrinsic Motivation

Recently I wrote about why you shouldn't rely on Extrinsic Motivation to drive lasting engagement. So if that's off the table... what CAN you do? What's the secret? Simple. To create a truly compelling experience, tap into the Trinity  of … [Read more]

Game Design and Extrinsic Motivation

In 2007, I gave a talk at O'Eilly's Emerging Technology conference called Putting the Fun in Functional. In this talk, I identified five game techniques driving successful social media properties, and outlined how websites could become more gamelike … [Read more]

DIY: Create Your Social Action Matrix

After much experimentation, I developed my Social Action Matrix - a tool to identify the core social activities that MOTIVATE your players. This model is inspired by personality quizzes and player types, but focused around VERBS AND ACTIONS rather … [Read more]