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how to do things with videogames

Bogost’s “Pranks” and McGonigal’s “Happy Embarrassment”

Bogost’s chapter on “Pranks” in the video game world reminds me of McGonigal’s discussion of “Happy Embarrassment.” Both increase pro-social emotions. The risk of a prank contributes to the enjoyment, but also, it reinforces the relationship between the pranker and the prankee; both teasing and pranking intensifies positive feelings for one another, and plays an important role in forming and maintaining positive relationships. Teasing and Pranking “mildly provoke negative emotion, but confirm trust” (McGonigal).



2 thoughts on “Bogost’s “Pranks” and McGonigal’s “Happy Embarrassment”

  1. Excellent point. Being able to prank someone and accepting being pranked are HUGE in building relationships in social environments. Trusting someone enough to let a guard down and be provoked emotionally in anyway is no small thing. Whether in person or on a social interaction site (i.e. WoW) reactions are felt. Social gaming like WoW allow the users to open up and be more receptive to others that in real life situations they might not ordinarily be.

    Posted by galaviz1 | June 2, 2013, 2:18 am
  2. Thank you for commenting.
    It’s weird how we practice these behaviors completely naturally (most of the time), but when someone is able to explain the science behind it, we have an entirely new understanding-based appreciation for our funny little quirks and social mannerisms. Yay learning! 🙂

    Posted by jowz24 | June 2, 2013, 3:21 pm

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