The Skinner Box – How Games Condition People to Play More – Extra Credits


Engaging design is extremely important in games, but too often simple reward systems are used to keep players playing longer or spending more money on in-game purchases. There are far more interesting and immersive mechanics you can choose to put in your games.
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(Original air date: November 24, 2010)

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♪ Intro Music: “Penguin Cap” by CarboHydroM

♪ Outro Music: “Consent (Make Me Dance)” by djpretzel


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  1. 🙂 one problem with modern game is smartphone, people wanna fast food but they want it delicious like restaurant food.

  2. Hmmm mind goes in a trance and performing actions way faster than you can think them… Yep thats beatsaber in a nutshell

  3. Everything you said is true, fully logical and can not be proven wrong. This was amazing and I could see everything you mentioned actually play out exactly like u said in real life.

  4. Actually, all those things is condicioned consequences. Doesn't matter if is a reward point or a challenging mistery lol

  5. You dont understand the Skinner principles well. You cant escape to the rewards system it just exist and it's because the dopamine effect. Example: you stablish a different between a reward system and mistery. When you have something unsolve like a mistery and then you can solve it the reinforcement is on. You brain will produce dopamine and makes you fell pleasure. The same goes with anything mentally chalanging like you said. The reinforcement program in that case is call it negative reinforcement. The reinforcement is produce by the consequences in the ambience not for the objet it self. Is a pretty common minstake between scholars. You produce videos on youtube for the same principles for example. Companies knows this principles and they can modify the ambience (in game) to make people play his game but Skinner principles isnt something that you just can escape. The world is a Skinner box.

  6. Fun fact: Skinner actually used pigeons during WWII and conditioned them to peck at a warship and basically used them as pigeon kamikaze.

  7. "even elements as voiceovers in shooters can be used as conditioning tools"

     My brain: * M-M-M-M-Monster Kill…Kill…Kill…Kill… *

  8. Runescape was so good at this; hours and hours and hours of simple repetitive gameplay just to get one more (meaningless) level.

  9. I'd take a casino where I win all the time over a regular casino. It's just a horrible business strategy and you'll go bankrupt really quickly. And with win I mean earning more than you spend.

  10. On way #3, Fire Emblem really does let you have a good mental challenge: do you go here and risk getting this guy killed, or do you take the easy route? Do you grind or rush through?


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