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October 19, 2017
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Travis Ross's Blog


Travis Ross is a Ph.D. Candiate at Indiana University. He has presented and writen on social behavior in online games, the psychology of motivation/engagement, and virtual economies. He is the editor of the online blog Motivate. Play. where he writes and publishes work at the intersection of social science and games. 


Member Blogs

Posted by Travis Ross on Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:16:00 EDT in Design
Motivation is an important topic for game designers and social scientists.In the following article I provide a list of seven articles and books that anyone who is interested in motivation should know about.

Posted by Travis Ross on Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:48:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design
During a trip to San Francisco, Jim Cummings and I had the privilege of sitting down with veteran community manager Ron Meiners. Ron has worked in online community for fifteen plus years, from Myst to Burning Man, from Splinter Cell 3 to The Sims 3.

Posted by Travis Ross on Fri, 02 Nov 2012 12:45:00 EDT in Design, Social/Online
Reducing antisocial behavior in online environments can be difficult. In this post I describe how theory and research from social science can help game designers understand norms.

Posted by Travis Ross on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 08:26:00 EDT in Design, Social/Online
Explores how game developers can increase cooperation in online games using research from social dilemmas such as the prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt, public goods, or common-pool resources. Examples demonstrate how research can be implemented in design.

Posted by Travis Ross on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 02:46:00 EDT in Design
If gamers are attracted to games that employ evolutionary psychology and behavioral economics to draw them in and game developers don't want to make these kind of games. Then the game industry is suffering from a tragedy of the commons.

Travis Ross's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 04/05/2013 - 09:16]

Thanks for the comments everyone ...

Thanks for the comments everyone - I think having a grasp of the current theories of motivation can help all game designers. My dream is that we can start to converge on a theory that an informed designer with a good telemetry system can use to explained unexpected behavior. It ...

Comment In: [Feature - 11/15/2012 - 04:40]

Nils, this is a really ...

Nils, this is a really neat perspective. I passed it around to my colleagues. I 've been thinking about the same stuff from an angle of social learning, descriptive norms, and information cascades. I hadn 't really thought to label it with memetics. I think people naturally think of memes ...

Comment In: [News - 12/14/2011 - 03:33]

George, thanks for pointing me ...

George, thanks for pointing me to this. I 'll have to read the paper. I 'd also suggest the work of Ellinor and Vincent Ostrom for more on provisioning public goods. Also you 've probably read Kollock - Social Dilemma 's the Anatomy of Cooperation its a really good one. ...

Comment In: [News - 11/07/2012 - 04:59]

Good to see Daniel and ...

Good to see Daniel and Matt back for a 9th year. Always a great crowd at the roundtable.

Comment In: [Blog - 11/02/2012 - 12:45]

Rob, thanks for the comment. ...

Rob, thanks for the comment. Its always awesome to get actual examples from real games that I can tie to my theoretical work. I 'll have to check out this dark souls community. I played Demon Souls, but it was literally right before the big migration. r n r nI ...

Comment In: [Feature - 06/15/2012 - 04:15]

Jamie, yes I totally agree ...

Jamie, yes I totally agree there is a ton of stuff in behavioral economics/decision making that could be useful for game designers. Lately I 've been writing my dissertation on pro-social and anti-social norms in games. In order to make predictions about how norms might apply to games I 've ...