Designing Emotional Games

Thursday 10 December 2009, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Dr Clive Chandler, Staffordshire University


It is well documented that games can engender a variety of emotions in game players as witnessed by the recent BBC discussion on Modern Warfare 2 and how such games may increase violence. Any good games design process knowingly or not involves the manipulation of the gameplayer's emotions to get a better user experience and involve the player in a deeper commitment to both the characters and the games themselves.

The question is whether or not this is an approach we want to delve into. Whilst the "Holy Grail" is to develop a game which "adapts itself" to the gameplayer as the game continues, there is also the problem that as we scale up these emotions they will have a deleterious effect on the gameplayers wellbeing!

This lecture discusses the methods that can be used to engender emotions within the gameplayer whilst also highlighting the risks and and pitfalls for the would be designer, ending with some useful hints to improve overall games design.


Dr Clive Chandler has been researching in games since the early 90's and was involved in what are now termed "Serious Games" since that time developing games with NASA and the UK Navy. He is an expert in HCI, Multimedia and Design with over 30 Years of experience. He is both an Academic with an international reputation and with substantial Industrial experience in the field of computing. His background is somewhat eclectic as he has been an Academic; an Industrial Manager; a trained Baptist Minister; and a children's entertainer.

"I have been playing games since I could first talk. My mother argues that if I wasn't playing some kind of game I was either inventing one or identifying the weaknesses of the game I was playing. I am currently a senior lecture at Staffordshire University in the UK. My specialist topics include Games Design, HCI, Games Research, Multimedia and Design. I have 3 degrees: two as a Metallurgist and an MSc in Multimedia and Global Communication. I am currently the core module leader for the MSc/MEng in Games Design whilst also teaching HCI, Design and Concept design for games. I also run a fully functional usability laboratory at the Stafford site of the university."


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