via Stanford MediaX
via Stanford MediaX

How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design

Recently Professor Katherine Isbister was welcomed back to Stanford to give another talk by MediaX and GAIMS. Katherine is no stranger to campus, as she received her PhD at Stanford with Cliff Nass as her advisor. And she was a CASBS Fellow here in 2015.

In her talk, she countered the argument that games are played only by loners and that they create isolation. She also showcased some examples of games and design techniques that evoke strong emotions. She also discussed how the agency given by games as interactive media can add to that emotional investment.

She spent some time deconstructing some emotionally powerful games like Journey and That Dragon, Cancer, and how they drive emotion in two very different ways. Journey by the vastness of the world. And That Dragon, Cancer by putting the player right in the middle of a painful and immediate family emergency.

Katherine’s new book is How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design and we are eager to read it.

Perhaps you also heard Katherine on NPR’s Science Friday talking about  “a video gaming renaissance”?

Katherine Isbister is Professor of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is the author of Better Game Characters by Design. She was the founding Director of the Game Innovation Lab at New York University.