General information

Subject type: Basic

Coordinator: Adso Fernández Baena

Trimester: Third term

Credits: 6

Teaching staff: 

Carlos González Tardón

Teaching languages

L'assignatura s'imparteix en castellà, però tant les aportacions a classe com els treballs es poden fer en català o en castellà.

The materials can be provided in Catalan as well as in Spanish or English.



Specific skills
  • E2. Design the mechanics, rules, structure and narrative of video games following the criteria of gameplay and balance to provide the best possible gaming experience.

  • E3. Identify the type of player and design the game experience according to its psychological characteristics.

General competencies
  • G1. Demonstrate having and understanding advanced knowledge of their area of ​​study that includes the theoretical, practical and methodological aspects, with a level of depth that reaches the forefront of knowledge.

  • G3. Gather and interpret relevant data (usually within their area of ​​study) to make judgments that include reflection on relevant social, scientific, or ethical issues.

  • G4. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialized and non-specialized audience.


User Psychology is an important part of any interactive product development, especially the video game. There are very few professionals trained or with minimal knowledge on the subject and these are sought after by companies. Knowing the user-buyer profile and how to satisfy it is vital. To achieve the knowledge the subject is evaluated with individual and group works and a written exam.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • E2.1 Design game mechanics and rules that as a whole are called gameplay.
  • E3.2 Describe the psychological characteristics of users
  • E3.3 Design and modify the gaming experience taking into account the psychological characteristics of the user

Working methodology

The subject uses the following work methodologies:

Master class, Debates and forums, Collaborative learning, Problem solving and Question-based learning.


UNIT 1: Introduction and history of psychology

1.1 The psychological experience of playing

1. 2 What is Psychology?

1.3 History of Psychology

TOPIC 2: Human development

2.1. Theories of development

2.2. Stages of development

2.3 Gender

SUBJECT 3: Cognition and human perception

3.1. Intelligence

3.2. Memory

3.3. Perception

SUBJECT 4: Individual and society

4.1. Personality

4.2. Violence

4.3. Addiction

Learning activities

With the aim of collecting evidence of the achievement of the expected learning outcomes, the following activities of an evaluative nature will be carried out (related to all the common competences):


A 1: Group work: Analysis of the psychological aspects of a traditional game and its application to video game design (Evidence of learning outcome E2.1 and E3.3)

Analyze a game activity and propose 1 video games that are considered related to the chosen classic game.

A critical comment must then be made in writing relating it to psychology.


A.2: Exercise in class: Theoretical questions in class about the content of the subject (Evidence of learning outcome All)

Throughout the classes there will be various evaluation activities in the form of questions to encourage participation and attendance.


A.3: Final Exam: Development Questions (Evidence of learning outcome All)

Final exam of the course, all the knowledge learned in class and put into practice are integrated.

General criteria of the activities:

- The teacher will present a statement for each activity and the evaluation criteria.

- The teacher will inform of the dates and format of the delivery of the activity.

Evaluation system

Each student's grade will be calculated based on the following percentages:

  • A1: 40%
  • A2: 20%
  • A3: 40%

Final grade = A1 0,4 + A2 0,2 + A3 0,4


An activity not delivered or delivered late is a 0. The notes of the activities will take into account the correct follow-up of the requirements, the spelling and the clarity when transmitting the information.

To pass the subject, it is necessary that the learning activity A.3, at least, obtains a minimum grade of 5.

In case of plagiarism, the subject will be suspended without the possibility of recovery.


The retrieval will be carried out by means of a written or oral exam which will include all the contents indicated in the basic bibliography within the period established by the Head of Studies. This exam will count for 100% of the grade



Reeve, J. (2002) Motivation and Emotion. Madrid: Alliance.

Rozenzweig, MR & Leiman, AI (1993) Physiological Psychology. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

Shaffer, DR (2000) Developmental psychology. Childhood and Adolescence. Madrid: Thompson.


Heller, E. (2005). Color Psychology. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili


Pearce, C. (2009). Communities of play. Emerging cultures in multiplayer games and virtual worlds. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Schmidt-Atzert, L. (1985). Psychology of emotions. Barcelona: Herder.

Turkle, S. (1997). Life on the screen. Barcelona: Paidos.

Lacasa, P. (2011). Video games. Learn in real and virtual worlds. Madrid: Morata