Game Design

Fun is Boring: Designing Games That Have Neurological, Psychological and Physiological Impact

Ari Hollander, CEO & Technical Director at Firsthand Technology Inc.


Fun was just the hook: over 30 years of social engineering is helping to bring games to a new level.  The speaker briefly describes some of the implications of how people are evolving to experience media in a new way. He goes on to tell of techniques that designers use to cause skin-crawling, heart-pounding fear, take the edge off of nightmares, evoke painful memories, make burn victims laugh as their wounds are scrubbed, make children do what their parents tell them to, and even cure constipation? Games are about to get a lot more interesting!

Intended audience and prerequisites:

This talk is intended for movers and shakers, designers, artists, industry professionals, and prospective industry professionals who wish to use their considerable powers for good instead of evil. If this information were to fall into the wrong hands, who knows what might happen?

Session takeaway:

Attendees will learn design concepts and psychophysical principals that take games beyond fun.


December, 6th. From 11.30am to 12.20pm + Workshop (50 minutes)




Ari plays wrecklessly in the unruly intersection of art, technology, interface, and perception. He has been building virtual worlds for clinical research, education and Serious Games since the old Millennium and he will help create the future even if it kills him.

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