10 Lessons about Goals from Video Game Design

In video games, goals are ...

1.     Well-defined – for instance, saving a princess or launching a bird at a pig.

Well-defined goals in video game

2.     Measurable – you receive a score.

Measurable goals in video game

3.     Incremental – you have immediate goals that get you to the next level.

Incremental goals in video game

4.     Feedback-supported. You know the results of your actions right away.

Feedback-supported goals in video games

5.     Within a time frame. A timer is counting down or a jingle is playing. You move.

Goals are within a time-frame in video games

6.     Attainable. The level of difficulty increases gradually. You experience success.

Attainable goals in video games

7.     Not boring. The level of difficulty increases gradually. You experience challenge.

Goals in video games are not boring

8.     Emotionally safe. You can make mistakes.

Goals in video games are emotionally safe

9.     Active. You practice.

Goals are active in video games

10.   Rewarding. Visual and audio stimuli provide variable surprise rewards and celebrate your success with you.

Goals are rewarding in video games

Adapted from Parenting in the Age of Attention Snatchers by Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD