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Video: Deconstructing the psychology of rewards in game design

At GDC 2017, Epic Games' Ben Lewis-Evans dispels the "neuromyths" around dopamine and offers devs a deep dive into the psychology behind reward systems in game design.

Have you ever heard someone say a game gave them a "shot of dopamine"? What does that kind of language mean, exactly?

At GDC 2017, Epic Games' Ben Lewis-Evans delivered a talk aimed at dispelling the "neuromyths" around dopamine that also offered devs a deep dive into the psychology behind reward systems in game design.

It was a valuable talk because Lewis-Evans (an experienced human factors psychologist and user experience researcher) dug into basic reward principles, cognitive biases that impact reward perception, and the importance of progression, control, social interaction, and expectation in game design.

He also touched on the vital role of feedback and UX when designing effective rewards, something devs of all stripes may find useful and informative.

If you missed his talk in person this year, no worries -- you can now watch it for free on the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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