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Session Name:

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Player Motivation: Implications for Design and Player Retention


This session explains in detail how to sustain engagement with players, based on years of research, in order to drive longer and more profitable relationships. To design for this kind of engagement, data show it is important to have a clear knowledge of a player's specific psychological needs and understand the various categories of motivation that lead to sustaining (or thwarting) customer relationships. This talk will outline principles of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and how both can be applied effectively when they satisfy specific psychological needs, such as autonomy, relatedness, and mastery. Many game examples will illustrate some surprising truths about motivation, including how certain reward mechanisms can actually hinder a long-term relationship with your game, as well as how various forms of "extrinsic" motivation can be good for the player relationship, while others can foster a hasty exit by creating feelings of control and manipulation.

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  • GDC 2012
  • Scott Rigby
  • Immersyve
  • free content
  • Game Design
  • Design