The Psychology of Video Game Engagement — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #94 with Jamie Madigan

Why do people play video games, and what keeps them playing? Do we want to have to think through innovative puzzles or just lose ourselves in mindless reactivity? Your hosts Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt are joined by Dr. Jamie Madigan, an organizational psychologist who runs the Psychology of Video Games podcast, to discuss what sort of a thing this is to research, the evolution of games, player types, motivation vs. engagement, incentives and feedback, as well as the gamification of work or school environments. Some games we touch on include Donkey Kong, Dark Souls, It Takes Two, Returnal, Hades, Subnautica, Fortnite, and Age of Z.

Some of the episodes of Jamie’s podcast relevant for our discussion are:

Check out his books and articles too. Here are a couple of additional sources about engagement:

The site Erica mentions about disabled modes in gaming is

Hear more of this podcast at This episode includes bonus discussion that you can access by supporting the podcast at This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.

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