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Nicole Lazzaro: Social Forces Impact Online Gaming

Posted Mon, May 05, 2008 by Ram

Is Social Networking the New Casual Game?

President of XEODesign, Nicole Lazzaro gives a preview of her lecture at the 2008 ION Game Conference.

PAUL PHILLEO: Thank you for taking the time to share your experience through an interview with us, Nicole. Tell us how about what you do at XEODesign and how much your line of work overlaps with game development?

NICOLE LAZZARO: I make games more fun. As the leading expert on emotion and the fun of games I help clients deliver more of the emotions that players like the most. As we all know, great gameplay produces strong player emotions, something that traditional marketing and usability methods cannot measure. XEODesign’s methods can, and developers who can access a player’s emotional responses early in the development cycle can innovate with much less risk. For the past 16 years we’ve improved over 40 Million player experiences for everything from Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing to 3 in the Myst Series, to the Matrix Online, to several Diner Dash titles, to GoPets, and some creativity coaching for the Sims 2 team.

XEODesign was the first to measure specific emotions by watching people’s facial expressions during play. XEODesign helps our clients make better games by offering design consulting services as well as player testing. Because we have created a model of how game mechanics create these emotions we can actually improve gameplay as early as the concept stage.

At my talk WOW vs. Facebook: Are Social Networks the New Casual Game? I’ll be sharing new research on social media and MMO’s such as WOW focusing on the emotions that drive the social interaction.

To read more, please visit ION Network.


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