quarta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2015

Playful mindset X serious mindset

Today I want to share one important idea from the book Pervasive Games;  the authors cite the work of psychologist Michael J. Apter about the differences between the serious and the playful mindsets.

“Michael J. Apter (1991) discusses pleasure and arousal in the context of playful and serious mindsets, claiming that people in a playful mindset seek pleasurable, aroused excitement and avoid boredom, whereas people in a serious mindset seek pleasurable, non aroused relaxation and avoid unpleasant, aroused anxiety. Basically, this means that being worked up while working in a serious mindset leads to anxiety, whereas being worked up while playing a game in a playful mindset is experienced as exciting” (MONTOLA; STENROS; WAERN, 2008, p.106)

Michael J. Apter’s (1991) visualization of how telic (serious) and paratelic (playful) mindsets operate differently.

This type of graph helps us visualize some interesting directions for creating games and how to observe player's behavior. I strongly recommend the full book. Check the references below.


Apter, M.J. (1991). A structural-phenomenology of play. In J.H. Kerr & M.J. Apter (Eds.), Adult play: A reversal theory approach. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger.

MONTOLA, Markus; STENROS, Jaakko; WAERN, Annika. Pervasive Games: Theory and Design. New York: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2009.

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