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Keywords: narrative, user psychology

Melinda Jacobs

Melinda S. Jacobs is an entrepreneur, gamification & UX strategist specialising in changing behaviour through play and games. She is an international speaker on gamification, user psychology, and narrative and has spoken at events such as Festival of Games, Gamification World, UPRISE, and Gamification Europe.

2017 Talk 

Game mechanics SUCK without narrative

We use “game mechanics” as a short-hand to talk about the design patterns games often use to create amazing engagement. But, too many people look at these mechanics as individual mechanisms that are independent generators and drivers of action, engagement, and value creation. In reality, they’re anything but independent. Mechanics create engagement when they work together to create a coherent system that makes a narrative move from static to interactive, that makes it explorable and responsive. I’ll show you how to approach designing such a system, that facilitates interaction between a user (your hero) and fictional or non-fiction narratives, and how the power of those mechanics you use is drawn from their relationship to the narrative itself.


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