Rachel Naidich Erin Hoffman Notes

  • Erin Hoffman – Co-founder of Sense of Wonder
  • Map of people who communicate on twitter. Most people intersect at some point, gaming people tend to be really insulated
  • Normal people care about meaningful work, vacation, relationships, good food, family, hobbies. Gaming people only care about games
  • Felt like an outsider, but games understood her. They are indefinitely patient, exist to be played, don’t care how many times you try. 
  • Games are really different. They represent an outsider culture. 
  • Games have never been about usability, and mainstream is gross
  • Game designers are artists, and artists are about provoking emotion
  • Emotions that video games evoke are usually simple, but sometimes they are more complex
  • No matter what, a game must have one quality: fun
  • Game designers spend a lot of time arguing about what fun is. Raph Koster said “Fun is just another word for learning.”
  • Inspiration behind Glasslab – School is really boring. Maybe video games could make school less boring.
  • SimCity – Students said this is pretty fun, but we aren’t learning anything
  • When students were really engaged in learning, there was something going on that wasn’t “fun.” It was something deeper. 
  • Paul Eckman was a psychologist who took photographs of faces around the world. He found 7 universal emotions. Inside Out from Pixar represents almost all of them. But “fun” and “learning” are missing
  • Erin Hoffman’s definition: Fun is the cognitive mechanical process by which we convert fear into happiness through surprise
  • Over 100 trillion microbes in the human body. The milky way has 100 billion stars. Our body is more like a coral reef system than a singular being. 
  • Surprise might be the most emotion there is when it comes to storytelling and product
  • There is no way to measure emotion. Emotional research is largely unexplored. 
  • Emotion is a landscape, not a fixed point in time. It is a dynamic system that has things like hysteresis and momentum.  If we were to design for specific progression, what would that look like?
  • You start with pain points. In a game, pain is challenge, and challenge is good.
  • Mars Generation One teaches argumentation. When you’re bad at arguing, you feel a lot of negative emotions: confused, powerless, unpopular, stupid. They wanted to bring about an emotional transition by changing those emotions into positive ones
  • They dug deeper into the pain point of confusion. They wanted to turn the vague into precise, abstract into concrete, etc. 
  • Pokemon is an incredibly complex game that is concrete and memorable. They took inspiration from this and made a game that made argumentation concrete and masterable. 
  • Argumentation is usually taught in a way that is not memorable because there’s no surprise, no discovery, no choice, no tension
  • When designing, consider the user’s emotional journey. Where are you taking them? Where do they begin? Where do they end?
  • Where are your moments of surprise? Where are you showing your user that you really understand their pain? Where are your transition points between pain and ecstasy? Where are your users discovering insights for themselves?

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.