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Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People who Play Them Kindle Edition
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Psychologist Jamie Madigan covers a wide range of topics associated with game consumption, design, and development, yet he manages to address each in detail. In contrast to those primarily interested in the emotions of gaming, Madigan lets the data do the talking and provides reasoned, balanced commentary around the data based on his long experience as a game player, analyst, and consultant. He explores recent phenomena such as the success of free-to-play and in-app purchases, using commercial game examples to make the book both comprehensible and useful to nonplayers. He also treats topics such as cheating, pay to play, trolling, and the effects of video game violence, dealing with them in a refreshingly frank and open-minded way. The bibliography alone makes this book a useful resource for students and faculty in academic game programs. Each chapter concludes with a list of central points. Madigan makes an excellent case for the role of psychology in video games, not only as a means of improving games but also as an area in which human nature is on display in many forms and can be fruitfully observed and studied. A great book.
Summing Up: Essential. All readers., CHOICE
I love a book that has a great opening sentence. Getting Gamers opens with 'The history of video games started in a small Norwegian village during the 1680's when a precocious young fisherman names Billy 'SadPanda42' Jackson created Call of Duty 3 out of sticks and moxie.' That, my friends, is a great opening sentence. Not only can Madigan write a good opener, he gets better as he goes. He takes complex concepts such as 'deindividuation' or 'spacial presence' and make them easily understandable. More than just understandable, but relatable. Using examples from casual games to intensely committed game fans, he shows the influence that the psychology behind the games can exert. . . .As a teacher, these concepts are [fascinating to] me. . . .[I]t has a wealth of ideas and concepts that teachers and administrators should be embracing to change the landscape of education for the better. , Making The Awesome: A Blog About Life, Education and Everything
Cognitive dissonance theory, social comparison theory, social identity theory, social learning theory, self-determination theory, self-perception theory, self-categorization theory, deindividuation, priming, psychological reactance, emotional contagion, Asch phenomenon, law of diminishing sensitivity, loss aversion bias, status quo bias, benign versus malicious envy, ego depletion, variable schedules of reinforcement, big-fish–little-pond effect, anchoring effect, Dunning-Kruger effect, and reciprocity effect, Zeigarnik effect. If you took Psychology 101 in college you no doubt recognize at least a few of these terms, and if you followed that up with a mid level course in social psychology you may recognize most of them. Jamie Madigan defines and uses all of these terms, quite appropriately, in his delightful book, Getting Gamers.... If you are a video gamer, the book’s insights may help you appreciate the games all the more; help you become more rational in your choices of games and manner of playing them; and make you less likely to fall for gimmicks designed to part you from your hard-earned, real-world money or trap you into game routines that are ultimately more tedious than fun.... If you are a student or would-be student of psychology, you will find here accurate, fun-to-read descriptions of basic psychological theories, principles, and research findings, along with their applications to video games. Although this is a serious, thoughtful, well-researched book, it is written in a refreshingly breezy, often humorous style. , American Journal of Play
Jamie takes us as deep into the minds of gamers as is possible without a scalpel. It's a fascinating and essential read. -- Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Jamie Madigan’s fascinating exploration of the psychology of gaming blends provocative research findings with lively anecdotes and witty prose. It is accessible, insightful, and a must-read for gamers and game designers. -- Nick Yee, author of The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us--And How They Don't
Madigan repackages research from familiar names in behavioral psychology such as Dan Ariely, Drazen Prelec, Amos Tversky, and Daniel Kahneman, into delightful, yet thought-provoking anecdotes that seek to understand and explain how psychology affects the world of games. His easy-to-read style and liberally-sprinkled humorous asides makes what could have been a dry, academic tome into a page-turner. Whether you are a game developer or game player, you will likely come away second-guessing pretty much everything about how and why we play! -- Dave Mark, President and Lead Designer, Intrinsic Algorithm
For those interested in the interplay between the science of the mind and the science of game design, there is no better place to begin than with this book. -- Mike Ambinder, PhD, Experimental Psychologist, Valve Corporation
Jamie Madigan has put together something fun, engaging, and seriously interesting, and not just for people who love games, but for people who wonder why we can be so weird online or inside our social media. I guarantee you will come away from this book with not only a better understanding of human behavior, but with advice on how to apply the latest research in your own life and profession. Madigan exposes how game designers have solved so many of the behavioral problems we see in other domains, and what you learn about their process will no doubt be useful in yours. Madigan's lively, quirky approach to the topic is sure to provide fresh insights, even if you've read a psychology book or two. Whether it is exploring immersion, grinding, why we cheat, why we lob insults, or how freemium games subtly guide our hands toward our wallets, Madigan wonderfully explains in detail the deeper phenomena at play. -- David McRaney, author of You Are Not So Smart and You Are Now Less Dumb and host of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast
For years now, Jamie Madigan has served as the unofficial psychologist of the games industry. If you want to understand how human behavior and games interact, this is the book for you. -- Ian Bogost, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
- File Size : 1394 KB
- Print Length : 315 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B014ZT5SQM
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Reprint Edition (October 16, 2015)
- Publication Date : October 16, 2015
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #354,245 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There are a few points that keep it from 5 stars in my mind. The author leaves a lot of loose threads where he has made connections in his mind but not explain them fully in the book. For example he talks about the Dunning-Kruger effect in tutorials and specific games, but leaves you hanging as to whether the specific games have addressed it or what the benefit would be to telling players they suck at a game earlier. I think that points to a larger organizational problem with the book. The sections seem forced and not fleshed out based on the larger topics. It feels like the book is covering a checklist of topics and a page count.
Jamie Madigan has created something special with Getting Gamers. While I generally hesitate to credit books with legitimizing videogames--as I think we're past needing to legitimize a medium that's so ubiquitous--Getting Gamers does do so but in a unique way. In some chapters, especially those discussing MMOs, Madigan explores how virtual spaces (ie, videogames) can be used as testing environments for psychology theories. Sure, we can articulate a test of the Proteus Effect in real life, but it's so much easier and more controllable to do so in a virtual space.
Getting Gamers is essential reading for psychology nerds and for scared parents who need to see how important videogames really are.
I recommend either downloading a sample from the Kindle store or watching these two videos that overview a couple of the topics from the book.
Search Google for “Why Do Videogame Fanboys/girls Want to Fight You?” and “Why Are Some Online Gamers So Mean?
This book is a must for game designers, and even more so for executives at game development companies. As Dr. Madigan points out, a better understanding of gamers and the craft of gaming as an exercise in psychology will make the industry better, more entertaining for more people, and likely more profitable. The book also speaks to the psychology student and those interested in what makes pop culture thrive in general. This would be an outstanding addition to psychological courses on human interaction and several other areas. The students are likely to find it far more engaging than some other texts, primarily because so many of them are gamers of one type or another. Even in business, and I work in a financial services business, should find some elements of this book helpful as we frequently discuss the concepts of gamification of processes to engage clients.
I am not an active video gamer, even the phrase casual gamer might be gracious. Over the years I have played my share of games and certainly some were more immersive for me than others. Dr. Madigan has done an admirable job of pointing out why some games appeal to me, and why others may not. I have been an active tabletop gamer and the psychological principles outlined here work across most game play hobbies I have experience with. The same is true of fandom in the science fiction and fantasy realm.
I highly recommend this book if you have any connections to the gaming world, psychology of human interactions, behavioral economics, or fandom of any type.
Besides being insightful, Jamie Madigan, the author has an entertaining, down-to-earth voice that will easily carry you through the concepts. He references & pokes fun at video games non-stop, so any gamer like myself, will be highly amused throughout the read and super excited about every recognizable reference that you have also had the pleasure of playing - like an elaborate inside joke that you are completely in on.