First Time User Experience of Games
Most would say that the first time you play a game, if it's fun, you'd keep playing.
My research on the first hour of gaming says that's not the whole story. First time players are not just playing, but they are evaluating and learning.
And, there is a difference between fun that doesn't last versus fun that draws in the player.
Furthermore, there are mundane things that are extremely important to gamers. These are things like learning the controls, practicing, or understanding the basics of the game. And, the solution is not to wrap these tasks up in entertainment, but to treat them like usability problems, to help the player move efficiently past these initial hurdles.
These are non-fun, yet important, goals for a successful first hour.
Link: First The First Hour Experience: How the Initial Play can Engage (or Lose) New Players
When players make up their own rules, we find a world of invention, fun, and diversity.
We found this in the homes of poker players.
We found this in the online world of Halo 2.
Learning what we could from both worlds, we explore how rich these communities are and how systematic their thought process is when revising the rules for their favorite games.
Why do people watch other people play video games? You'd think they'd rather be playing, but it turns out there are lots of good reasons for people to stand by as a spectator. Our research uncovers a diverse number of these reasons as well as new ideas for designing a game for its audience.
Communication in Games
The way that players talk to each other is a big part of gaming.
There are theories for understanding communication and technology. One ("Grounding") is presented below and applied to games. As an example, Nintendo's Pictochat is analyzed with it.