Social Media and Game Design: Food for Thought

As a game designer, thinking about all the different means of interaction my players can have with my game is key. “How can I design this system so that they are more immersed? How can I design this encounter so that my players are having more fun? How can I better facilitate flow and positive feedback?”

These are only a few of the questions I ask myself when I’m designing a game, but these questions in particular, I think, apply especially to social media strategy development.

Thinking about it, social media and game design have a lot in common. Both of these mediums, by their very nature, garner more active participation from their audiences. Due to this increased level of constant interactivity, it makes details such as UX and UI important factors to consider before launching a social media campaign or new game: “What kind of user experience am I trying to create? What sort of interface do I need to design to make this user experience more accessible?” In games, the importance of well-designed UX/UI is more easily evident–a game that has a terrible control scheme will make it difficult for the player to fully immerse themselves in the game if they’re constantly fighting with the controller. Likewise, directing your audience to a poorly designed website will turn away potential consumers if they’re not able to immediately make sense of where they’re supposed to go or what your company stands for.

Both video games and social media are immersive activities which facilitate flow.

flow

Cognitive flow is a psychological term that refers to a state in which one is able to lose themselves in an activity to the point where they lose track of time, and want to continue immersing themselves within that activity. One of the ultimate goals of game design is to design a game that facilitates a constant state of flow in our players, and one of the goals of a good social media marketing strategy should be to maintain the constant interest of our audience.

It’s interesting to think about how much social media and game design have in common, and I think that understanding the basic tenants of game design will give anyone looking into going for a career in communications a significant edge.

Sources:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/166972/cognitive_flow_the_psychology_of_.php

http://www.peopleproductive.com/workforce-velocity/cognitive-velocity/

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2 thoughts on “Social Media and Game Design: Food for Thought

  1. Great post, Vanessa! It reminds me of a story I heard about novelists and comedians using Twitter to run first drafts by their audiences. With instant online feedback, the these writers can collaborate with a massive crowd to tailor their products and give the people what they want. It’s almost like they’re beta-testing their writing now that I think about it.

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  2. Great piece Vanessa! User engagement and interaction is something that people appreciate and utilize in many realms. I work in the industry of marketing, and almost every campaign I work on is based on the ideologies involved around UX/UI. As we gravitate more and more towards singularity realization, while simultaneously, making use of VR technologies, I think we will begin to see these concepts become even more prevalent in virtually every industry.
    In Thinking Photography today, Dr. William Wood showed a video about the patent Sony put on video recording contacts, which has made a few rounds on social media in the last few months. However, I just learned about the injectable lenses Google has patented. Which is kinda incredible, definitely creepy and perhaps the ultimate barrier to be crossed in regards to personal privacy.
    Also, for noting, Canadian photographer Stan Douglas has made incredible leaps with interactive, game-like photography as well, that if you haven’t already, you may want to check out!
    This is definitely something to keep looped in on as professional communicators. There may be an industry waiting to be unlocked with these concepts!

    Respectfully,
    Melissa L.A. Bishop

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