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Published on Aug 30, 2012
There has been a surge in gaming in the past ten years, and a lot of it has to do with the ideas that Amy Jo has been spreading for quite some time now. With an eclectic background in neuroscience, computer science, and psychology, she is part game designer, part web community architect and helped pioneer the idea that game mechanics make Web design more engaging, sticky, and viral by encouraging certain behaviors. She is noted for her influential conceptual frameworks for online communities, in particular the Membership Lifecycle that was presented in her 2000 book, Community Building on the Web, a design handbook for networked communities. It is considered to be a "cult classic" and has become required reading in game design studios and university classes worldwide. Amy Jo holds a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington, a BS in Experimental Psychology from UC San Diego, and teaches Game Design at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Most recently, she has been pondering a framework for how people interact with games that reflects social structure -- and furthermore, pondering how social structure influences games.