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Research Blog #1

I’m focusing on Gaming’s effect on Psychology, or Psychology’s Effect on Game development and design. Because I’m still in the beginning stages of my research paper, I haven’t been able to narrow it down more than that yet. The first article I found presented some good insight on the topic though. The article discusses the growing utilization of psychologists in game development. “Video game companies are increasingly using psychologist’s expertise to make games even more compelling, challenging, and fun” (Clay). Tom Nichols, one of the growing number of psychologists in the video game industry says that more and more video game designers ‘turn to psychologists to analyze product effectiveness.’ With the ever expanding variety of gaming platforms, mobile gaming and social network gaming especially, more opportunities present themselves to psychologists to work in the gaming industry. ‘The application of psychological principles to game design is still in its infancy, so the opportunity is present to be at the forefront of a new discipline’ (Mike Ambinder, experimental psychologist). Currently, the most common role for psychologists in the field is in user research–testing whether players “experience games the way companies intended [by understanding the game’s goals, and translating those goals into a testable question] (Clay). Measuring level of excitement or anxiety is a common focus there. Essentially, this article led me to believe that I’m on to something with this topic because, ultimately, “games are all about engagement, motivation, reinforcement, [and attention]– ideal topics of exploration for psychologists, experimental psychologists especially. Cognitive, developmental, and educational psychologists would be ideal for working on educational games.


Clay, Rebecca A.”Video Game Design and Development.” American Psychological Association (2013): 14. Web. 21, June 2013.



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