There are four components to happiness:
- Satisfying work to do
- Experience of being good at something
- Time spent in a place we like
- The chance to be part of something bigger
Games feel rewarding, even when playing are doing repetitive tasks in order to get to the next level. These repetitive tasks are referred to as "the grind." Because there is a goal to them, they feel rewarding.
There some specific game mechanics that help to make games fun:
- Collecting (information and stuff)
- Points (something that allows you to be ranked)
- Feedback (on how you are doing in the game)
- Exchanges (Exchanging what you have for other things)
- Chore Wars
- Seriosity's Attent
- Social Genius
- Passively Multiplayer Online Game (PMOG) -- This allows the web to become a game board.
So what was the bottom line from Liz Lawley's talk? I don't think she really talked about libraries as happiness engines. What she did do was give us a peek into why we cannot ignore games. I would think with our current economic condition that we might find more people playing games as a way of escaping their day-to-day reality. If that is true, will libraries get more into games? And will the gaming night next year not have people wondering what games have to do with libraries?
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