Chapter 5


In this chapter, you’ll learn:

  • Why things are fun—the neuroscience and psychology that make games work
  • Sixteen basic motivations behind the things you like
  • The power of emotion in games
  • The importance of rules for having fun
  • Forty-two different features that people love
  • How to play a brainstorming game to develop more fun ideas of your own

At Disney, the experience designers are called imagineers, a blending of imagination and engineering. Like the theme park attractions crafted at Disney, games exist entirely in the landscape of the imagination—but games also involve you more interactively than a ride or movie. This chapter discusses aspects of games that make them “fun.”

When you design an experience with fun as its goal, you increase engagement, involvement and memory. Anyone can do this—not just designers at a major entertainment company. You can call it fungineering.

Why Adults Never Outgrow Stickers

A year before I began this book, I set out to do one of the more challenging and rewarding jobs I’ve ever done: teaching a five year old child how to read. When I saw that she understood how to read a new word, it was an exhilarating feeling—that I had successfully passed knowledge on to a new generation. To succeed, I needed to figure out how to make it fun for her.

I turned to one of the time-honored reward techniques known by kindergarten teachers around the world: stickers. Kids love stickers. They love the way they look, they love the recognition, ...

Get Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.