U22 handouts Psychological factors

Topics: Video game genres, Game, Play Pages: 7 (1907 words) Published: December 9, 2013
Unit 22 – Developing Computer Games
(Outcome 1)
BTEC Nationals

Handout

2

Computer Games

Psychological factors

Prepared by: Mohamed Diab

Psychological factors

Computer games are popular because they affect us emotionally, in a similar way to films and music. Just as a horror movie makes you feel scared, a survival horror computer game can terrify you too. In some ways the game makes it feel more real because you are controlling the character, so what happens to the character can feel like it is happening to you. Games designers use the psychological factors to improve their games and make the experience of playing them more memorable. It can be done very simply and subtly, or it can be done in a very obvious way, depending on the needs of the game.

Use of Sound
Sound can make you feel lots of different things - it can make you feel happy, sad, scared, brave.
There isn't a single human emotion that hasn't been represented in music or sound effects at some point in our history. Games designers use this to their advantage and there will be an audio designer whose role is to pick the sound effects and musical scores that are used throughout a game. High-pitched, fast-paced music or sound effects tend to make you feel more excited and as if you are in the middle of the action. Platform games and racing games use these features to add to the game's excitement and pace.

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Horror games use string instruments such as violins and the sound of creaking floor boards to make people feel tense in the same way that a horror movie does.

High Score Listings

In the early days of basic 2D arcade games, there was no option to play against anyone except the computer. Even multiplayer games were usually limited to two people. Single-player games today are often driven by the storyline and the player will continue playing to the end in order to find out what happens. In more basic games, however, this is not the case. The high score table or list becomes the motivation to play again and again. If you feel compelled to improve your high score then you will keep on playing the game until you succeed and this means that you will get more game-play for your money. A high score list is an alternative to the storyline as a motivator for playing a game repeatedly. Some recent games, especially sports games and casual games, still include high score lists and you often have the option to publish your score on line through the game so that you can compare yours to those of people across the world. In many FPS (first person shooter) games that have online multiplayer settings, you can have a world ranking which shows you how well you are doing in a similar way to a high score list.

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Competitive Games
Competition with others is a driving factor that makes people try to improve their skills and abilities. High score lists will encourage you to compete against yourself, but competitive games where you play against other people will make you even more motivated to improve.

Throughout our history there are examples of people competing against each other in order to prove that they are the best at something. The most wellknown example is the Olympic Games, where people come together from every country in the world to compete, and the event generates a lot of international goodwill and excitement.

Inevitably there are occasions when people become over-competitive and the desire to win becomes a negative rather than positive motivation. On the whole, however, competition teaches people to be good losers, to push themselves and to analyse their skills and formulate plans to improve those skills. These are all positive attributes that make an individual successful in the world of work and are undeniably associated with being successful at computer games.

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Since online multiplayer games have become mainstream, people have enjoyed playing a range of different games against...


References: BTEC level 3 Book- Information technology
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