Designing Your Systems

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"A number of studies have revealed that game playing triggers dopamine release in the brain, a finding that makes sense, given the instrumental role that dopamine plays in how the brain handles both reward and exploration. Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist collaborating with the Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics at Northwestern University, calls the dopamine system the brain’s 'seeking' circuitry, which propels us to explore new avenues for reward in our environment."

"The game world is teeming with objects that deliver clearly articulated rewards: more life, access to new levels, new equipment, new spells. Most of the crucial work in game interface design revolves around keeping players notified of potential rewards available to them and how much those rewards are needed. If you create a system in which rewards are both clearly defined and achieved by exploring an environment, you’ll find human brains drawn to those systems."

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Posted on October 20


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