Updated: Oct 28
Fun is an inherently powerful motivator for players. In any game fun stimulate players mental faculties drawing on the power of their imagination and creativity. It is this stimulation that capture players why they become immersed and engaged. In exploring the world of tabletop gaming, the fun aspect has to be top of mind to be compelling and rewarding for engagement and immersion to take place. When you are having fun playing tabletop games, what does that signifies? Is it that you are emotionally invested in the characters, challenges and the narrative of the game? Funology (science of fun) draws on psychology, design and educational elements which are strong motivational factors.
If you are having fun playing a game, there's a high probability you will be motivated by the strategy to have a well-balanced game, where there are no dominant players because each player has a fair chance of winning. In addition, the rules are easily accessible, and understanding the basics make barriers to entry uncomplicated or trouble-free. Player interaction is encouraged as competition, negotiation, trading and coorporation makes the game dynamic and enjoyable.
Funology seeks to understand what makes activities, experiences and interactions enjoyable and the effects fun has on learning, motivation, and creativity. Even in the online course, Gamify Your Best Self (www.gamifyyourgoals.com) these activities were considered important elements. Player achievements were acknowledged and reinforced through a reward system. Developing in-game assets overtime influences player progression through skillset that build and upgrade their mastery of the game.
The question is, does sharing laughter, strategizing with friends, and experiencing the game together contribute to the immersion and engagement? When players are having fun, does that mean they are learning? If you understand fun and how it affects human behavior, there is a high chance it will improve the design of a game as well, but having a fun design with little social interaction or engagement might be an indication that the psychological elements were not thought through.