Three examples from the world of video gaming that show how to engage people by appealing to humans’ basic needs and desires.
1. Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City/San Andreas/IV, etc….
Curiosity and the freedom of interaction
GTA’s free roaming adventures allowed people to satisfy their inquisitiveness, spawing a collection of GTA comedy and stunt clips on Youtube. People got more involved in GTA than regular linear level based video games creating a cult-like following. The high level of interaction also created a lot of feedback that Rockstar used to make incremental improvements to the series, culminating in GTA IV the fastest selling video game ever (the record was prevously held by GTA San Andreas).
2. Football Manager / Championship Manager
The addiction of achievement
Many a girlfriend’s worst enemy, this game has taken many hours, days, weeks and months of football loving people’s lives. “Just one more match, just one more…” To make matters worse, these games are now available in online and mobile versions just to tempt you even more wherever you are.
3. World of Warcraft
Combine the two above, add in mass social interactivity = live the game