How do you know that your game is fun?


The American Psychological Association (APA) has been busy lately doing research into how gaming boosts cognitive skills. “A host of studies suggest that video game build cognitive skills. Even a relatively simple tiling puzzle like Tetris has been shown to boost brainpower”, they write.  They also comment on experiments that show that laparoscopic surgeons who played video games performed better then their non-gaming peers.  This is consistent with mayn other similar studies such as those discussed in Science Daily ‘Playing video games offered learning across life span‘, and ‘Cognitive Training for Basketball game-intelligence“.

In the day anad age of fiancial credit crises, it is worthy to mention that the well-reputed Caspian Learning, in partnership with Experian, have created ‘Creditability’, a performance simulation game for chldren to learn about money, borrowing and spending. In a similar, but different vein, the Economist news magazine ha san interesting piece on ‘Playing for profit‘ about using vbideo game technology to increase profit and productivity in the workplace.

Phaedrus Blog spends alittle time pondering the relationship and consequences of ‘Gamin and Education‘. For a less philosophical post, it is worth mentioning his brief comments on the game of FLOW.

Finally, now that we have further established the educational case for games (again), let’s raise the question ‘How do you know that your game is fun?‘, I was expecting Juuso from GameProducer to mention all the standard issues like beta-testing, sales, etc but he takes it from a developer’s point-of-view, citing such things as ‘Do you enjoy testing it?”, “Do you smile when you watch characters walking across the screen?”.  Obviously these questions are sufficient to guarantee success, however, I do think it reminds us that sometimes if we aren’t passionate about what we make, why should we expect others to be?

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