The Psychology of Fun and Frustration

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

On September 27th Dr. Nick Bowman, Associate Professor of Emerging Media at the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications at the Syracuse University, gave a lecture at the Games Institute titled “The Psychology of Fun and Frustration: Understanding the Demands and Interactivity.” The lecture covered interactivity-as-demand model based on research into video games and virtual reality technologies, highlighting its implications for game design and player psychology. These demands rationalizing or understanding the system is a cognitive affective reaction to the system, is emotional, the intuitiveness of the control system would be the apparatus or controller demands and the energy expenditure required to engage the system would be the exertional demands. Then the reactions to other social actors is the social demands. This is what Dr, Bowman’s study focuses on, the study of Interactivity, not only as a demand, but as myriad demands. 

Dr. Bowman discussed an approach to understanding interactivity as “myriad demands that do not always get along" while also talking about interactive entertainment media, like video games, and how they invite users to co-create an on-screen experience, demanding constant attention on various dimensions. He also covered how dimensions (including cognitive, emotional, apparatus, exertional, and social) mediate the relationship between formal features and usage outcomes.   

Stay up to date with Dr. Bowman’s research by following him on social media.