Video: Nicole Lazzaro

Games and the Four Keys to Fun: Using Emotions to Create Engaging Design

Filmed on October 12, 2013, at “Head, Heart, Hand: AIGA Design Conference

About this video

Over the past 40 years, games have developed an interactive language that can change players’ minds, guide their hands and captivate their hearts. These engagement techniques generate strong emotions that drive play and, most importantly, are fun. To keep people coming back again and again, games are designed to produce hundreds of specific emotions that fully and powerfully engross players. The same principles that are used to increase focus and interest over time can be sequenced into four kinds of engagement loops. Based on 20 years of research, we call these the “Four Keys to Fun.” In this talk, Nicole Lazzaro explores how certain feelings create dynamic engagement, and how you can design deeper emotional experiences using the “Four Keys to Fun.” Leave inspired to create the next generation of graphic and interaction design by harnessing the unique and compelling power of fun.

Speaker bio

Nicole Lazzaro is a world-renowned game researcher, designer and speaker who makes games more fun. In 2004, Lazzaro discovered the “Four Keys to Fun,” a model used by game developers worldwide. She employed this model to design the iPhone’s first accelerometer game in 2007, now called Tilt World. The goal of the game is to plant one million trees in Madagascar. Both Fast Company and Gamasutra have named Lazzaro—whose work on user experience and emotion spans two decades—one of the most influential women in the gaming industry. She has worked with Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, DICE and The White House to make games more fun and unlock human potential to improve our world.