Interactive Experience Design

an undergraduate honors thesis for the Cornell University College Scholar program

by Chelsea Howe

Games, as a medium, are evolving. This thesis explores games as emotional, evocative, and enriching experiences and delves into specific techniques for broadening their affective potential. Two theories on optimal experiences, one psychological, flow, and one from Human-Computer Interaction, enchantment, provide a solid framework for examining the genre. A brief research study on auditory and non-auditory feedback loops investigates rhythm affinity and the effect of synchrony on immersion using phenomenology of consciousness inventories. A limited portfolio of six games applies the techniques and concepts covered in the thesis and dissects their comparative success.

With the dawn of mass-interconnectivity upon society, it is no surprise to find games undergoing a revolution. To conclude, this thesis examines the phenomenon called Ludus Florentis, a paradigmatic shift in how games are being created, distributed, perceived, and played that simultaneously signals the rebirth and maturation of the medium into culture.

This website provides a very condensed and somewhat superficial overview of all three sections of the thesis. You can navigate through sections on the right, or download the full thesis.

1 | 2

Theory: Optimal Experiences
Research: Rhythm, Synchrony
Portfolio: Ideas in Action
Ludus Florentis

Full Thesis (pdf)
Presentation (ppt)


Twitter: @manojalpa