How to promote engagement in online games?

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Answered by: Ashma , An Expert in the Game Analysis Category
Online gaming, a $22.41 billion industry is one the most popular contents online. Online games are available on a number of different platforms viz. a personal computer, console, handheld device and mobile phone. The variety of games is endless, some of which are action, adventure, investigation, simulation, role-playing, puzzle, combat, sports, role-playing, education and the list is endless. There are games that may belong to more than one genre, for instance, a shooting game can be said to belong to both sports and simulation genre. Such games are also known as cross-genre or hybrid games. Though online games may belong to any genre, all games have a few things in common and these are goal, rules, feedback system and voluntary participation. Where the goal is, what the player tries to achieve using gaming controls, for example, shooting the enemies, finding criminals or running through terrains etc. Rules confine the user as to how he can achieve his goal. Feedback system keeps the user informed of his what points he scored, what level the user is at, what he needs to do to hit the goal of the game. Voluntary participation is acceptance of the user to gaming rules, goal and feedback.



Mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics are the three principles that drive all the games. Mechanics of the game refers to specifying the goal and how do the players progress through it. Dynamics of a game are the run-time behaviours of the player while playing the game. Aesthetics are the emotional responses to the stimulus of the gaming environment. Aesthetics pave the way for engagement of the player, as he gets more involved in the game. Engaging the player in the game, the brands ask them to link the game with their social media account. This allows them to know their users better and what experiences they go through on a routine basis about their thoughts, feelings, actions and flow.

In order to promote engagement in online games, the managers must recognise the importance of social influences. When the player is the same community and sees others playing the game intensely causes numerous other players to join in the arena. So, the developers must endeavor to entice the community builders to influence others to play games online.



Additionally, to encourage engagement, game managers should rely on using word-of-mouth communication or advertisements. If the number of players playing a game is huge then it will manifest good extent of user-generated experience and hence attract a good amount of players online. This idea is known as dynamic loop. It was found to yield increasing returns in online community.

Users want to play games and explore the entertainment technology continuously where they can be completely and totally immersed. The key to successful management of on-line game communities is to increase usability through dialogue and social interaction, access, and navigation. If the engaging content is pitched in at the time when the player is in the flow of playing the game, this would help the developers promote engagement in online games.

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