Neuroscience and Video Gaming Triggers

Posted by | July 28, 2012

Video games are built on a series of triggers, moments that are designed to make the player react emotionally. Some of these are simple, like firing a gun at the baddies, others are more complex, like a conversation with a friendly character. Setting off these triggers creates emotional rewards for the player. These days, most of the triggers in games revolve around violence. Shooting, stabbing, slow-motion beheadings, the usual. Some people have a problem with that, what with violence being a nasty thing in reality. What if neuroscience was used to discover powerful triggers that don’t involve turning someone inside-out? Edge has the story.


1 Comment so far
  1. Nelson Williams
    July 28, 2012 11:55 am

    There are plenty of non-violent triggers in gaming. Violence is just the easiest, most immediate way to command a player’s attention. Any sort of problem solving can work, though, as games like Tetris and Portal have shown us. Combine that with the emotional satisfaction of saving or defeating worthy characters, and violence takes a back seat.

    Of course, dropping a vending machine on a goon is never not hilarious.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l3wOT9cSg4

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