Excerpt from a very interesting post:
"(Last December I started to write a series of posts about a concept called ‘the engagement hierarchy’. My thesis is that players engage with games in five distinctive manners, and that while all games get users who engage at all levels, there are clear clusters around one rung or another on the hierarchy that define largely what that game can be.)
Investment is what happens when players fantasize. Characters come to life, music is hummed-along-to, and the possibilities of the game world feel as though they extend beyond the boundaries of what the player sees on screen. Players imagine scenarios, moments, what-ifs, winning strategies, infer qualities of the game that the developers never actually included, and otherwise find the game magical in a way that they can’t quite express.
More than enjoying the experience, invested players participate in it. They resonate with it, become the influencers who connect other players and want to know its creators. An invested game is one that is important, and invested players feel as though they are a part of something.
The Art Brain
The play brain wants to learn, extend and master a game. It sees the frame of the game and comprehends the levers that permit it to take simple, fair and empowering action, and it wants to win. It is purely action driven. However a play brain is not the sum total of who a player is. Not by a long shot..."
full post here: