Why frustration is an important part of game design



  • 1 When a person feels victorious, they are more likely to stop playing

    When a person keeps losing, their frustration usually motivates them to keep playing. One of the reasons Flappy Bird got popular was that it frustrated its players, as it was very hard to win.

  • 2 Frustrated users are more likely to make a purchase

    If resources were easily available then a person might not need to make a purchase. The reason some games such as clash of clans became successful is that they frustrated people with lack of resources until they were forced to make a purchase.

  • 3 Frustration triggers stubborness

    If a person is stubborn then the frustration they experience will trigger their stubbornness and motivate them to keep playing until they win.

  • 4 Frustration tempts the ego

    When a person gets frustrated, their ego might get triggered and they might feel more motivated to win.

  • 5 Finished businesses are forgotten

    Studies have shown that people easily forget about finished businesses. When something is half complete, the brain is forced to think more about it.

  • 6 A certain level of challenge is required

    If a person found an unchallenging game, they will lose motivation to play the game and they will look for a more challenging one.

  • 7 The frustration-release cycle results in positive reinforcement

    When a person gets frustration then suddenly gets a relief, they experience pleasant emotions that makes the game more appealing to them. This technique was used in Tetris. See why Tetris got very popular.

  • 8 Frustration keeps a person hooked to a game

    As soon as a person tries a game and gets frustrated, this frustration is very likely to keep them hooked to the game. A person needs a certain degree of emotional arousal in order to stick to a game.

  • 9 Winning satisfies the ego

    When a person wins a challenging game, their ego gets satisfied and they are more likely to share the results or spread the news to their friends.

  • 10 Frustration is one component of addiction

    People are more likely to get addicted to things when they are frustrated. A frustrating game can keep a person hooked, especially if it's simple to understand. See what makes a game addictive