Astrinaar's Writing

When Pressing Buttons Becomes Emotional

This is my master's thesis that I wrote for my master in game design. The focus is on how games can evoke emotion in ways that are unique to the medium. Here's the abstract:
Evoking emotions is a staple in the entertainment industry and art in general. The different media have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to evoking emotions, yet it seems that games still rely on established methods from movies and novels. I've analyzed what is unique to games, and then looked at what other discussions on evoking emotion in games focus on. The unique aspects of games are rarely in focus, so I've analyzed 38 different single player games to come up with a list of 5 tools that can be used to evoke emotion, unique to the games medium. I have analyzed successful and failed uses of the concepts, so that designers know what to look out for and how to best use them. I have analyzed two successful games when it comes to evoking emotion. These tools help us understand why those games worked, and can be used to create similarly powerful experiences in the future, that could not have been achieved with other media.