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2.2 The Psychology of Enjoyment

Happiness can be explained as "circumstances of head or feeling seen as a contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or enjoyment". There are a number of different theories that have been derived to be able to define delight and it causations. From a religious or philosophical standpoint it could be thought as living a good life, rather than emotional respond to somebody's externalities. Martin Seligman in the booklet Authentic Happiness, thinks enjoyment derives from somebody's response to "positive activities" and "positive emotions".

Both pleasure and fun have emerged as positive areas of emotion. However pleasure can be obtained through physical means such as sleeping, eating or having sex. However enjoyment takes a physical condition of pleasure as well as an investment of your time. Pleasurable thoughts come and go, whilst entertainment usually entails the progress of oneself through accomplishment however, not necessarily reward. If a person only pursues positive feelings in the name of prize, whether tangible or unnecessary physical emotion, it's possible that that individual might not garner any satisfaction from said pursuits.

A excellent example would be an individual pursuing positive thoughts through the use of drugs or intimacy. Initially the average person may experience excitement through those pursuits, however eventually the level of enjoyment attained may recede as the average person finds themselves only pursuing the physical and biological rewards. The more a pleasurable past time is pursued the less fun may be acquired from it. Eventually even the most enjoyable of duties become mundane in aspect and the average person may necessitate something new or a big change, in order to attain the initial degree of enjoyment.

In order to acquire fun from a pursuit a person must place themselves realistic goals which they can handle achieving. This is important as the realisation of satisfaction requires concentration which is easier to focus on a quest with tangible goals. For example an individual learning the guitar may attempt to learn a specific songs, once that task has been achieved the individual may continue to learn harder songs. However if the individual sets out to become rock legend, then their degree of enjoyment gained from achieving minor goals, such as learning a person song, may well not garner the same idea of success.

This may be why lots of games have levels to be able to create a complex composition. If the whole game was using one level then your task may seem to be too daunting. Furthermore most contemporary game titles include save tips, as an individual pressurised to complete the overall game in one sitting down may conclude feeling bored or frustrated and might not apply the amount of concentration required for an enjoyable experience.

In order to obtain a constant degree of entertainment through learning a skill, the learning process should be continuous. In the original phases of learning, the individual is constantly absorbing new information, however as the average person advances then boredom may become one factor as there is less to learn or task that each at their skill level. However if the average person takes on a task beyond their skill level, they may conclude feeling anxious or frustrated, as the task presented may be too ideal for the individual to cope with. To be able to gain more entertainment from a learning pursuit, the learning process should move smoothly, neither making the difficulties too easy or too much, with regards to the level of skill of the individual. This is sometimes referred to as a learning curve nevertheless the gradient of such curve is determined by the ability of the average person.

Contemporary mainstream video games are enjoyed by an array of differing people, with different levels of experience. To make the game enjoyable for as many demographics as you can, most video games use a problem setting up of either 'easy' 'medium' or 'hard'. So users with little experience can choose an easier option which would lightly show them the technicians of the overall game reducing anxiousness and frustration. Individuals with more experience can choose a harder difficulty presenting them with a greater challenge, to push away boredom. An essential component of creating an enjoyable game gets the training curve right.

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