Seven Ways to Reward the Brain

Tom Chatfield’s TED Talk, Seven Ways to Reward the Brain, was very interesting. Although he was not too dynamic of a speaker, the facts and figures he presented were mind blowing, such as that 70 million humans play Farmville, or that 8 billion dollars are spend every year on virtual rewards…

What intrigued me the most was the Reward Schedule he discussed. The research and analysis done by the people behind-the-scene is incredible. The psychological analysis and manipulation involved allows for game makers to keep people engaged in the game for longer and longer.

The seven lessons from games he came up with were the highlight of the talk:

  1. Experience bars measuring progress
  2. Multiple long and short term aims
  3. Reward for effort
  4. Rapid, frequent, clear feedback
  5. An element of uncertainty
  6. Windows of enhanced attention
  7. Other people

I think that these seven points should be incorporated in every high-quality game. I am not sure yet what game I will be designing, or how, but I do know that these points will be at the center of my planning.