Founder and President, XEODesign
Nicole Lazzaro, 44, has studied emotion and player experiences in video games for 20 years and is the designer of Tilt, the first iPhone accelerometer game. Her firm helps the likes of Sega and Ubisoft create games that resonate with iPhone users.
"Hard-core gamers are very into challenges and obstacles. They want to feel frustrated right up to the point of throwing the controller, then have a breakthrough. With the iPhone, there's a completely different emotional profile. Users on average will play for just 5 or 10 minutes at a time, but they'll snack on games all week. There's a lot of curiosity, wonder, and surprise, which is very powerful because wonder is a hard emotion for adults to feel.
We encourage companies to build iPhone games that tap into these emotions. It's a mistake to assume that the iPhone is mostly about the accelerometer and single-person experiences. The potential for social games around caretaking is enormous, because personal gestures — stroking, pinching, tapping — are mapped to the control set for the device. That's the brilliance of the platform."
A version of this article appeared in the December/January 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.