Generosity and Happiness at the Game Table with Ray Otus

In this episode, I am joined by Ray Otus of Plundergrounds. In the first half, we talk about Ray’s background as a gamer, professional life, parenting, Ray’s philosophy for beginners, and the newest edition of Plundergrounds; Rakka’s Raiders.

In the second half, we discuss the psychology of generosity and happiness at the gaming table, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, ‘eyes up gaming’, and ways to cultivate happiness on and above the table. Lastly, Ray drops some secrets about the upcoming issue of Plundergrounds.


Data 1: (Dunn, Aknin, and Norton, at Harvard; 2012) ‘Prosocial Spending and Happiness: Money to Benefit Others Pays Off’ reports that spending resources on others makes the giver happier than spending resources on oneself. This experiment was completed by giving people money to either spend on themselves or others and then rated levels of happiness.
Data 2: (Dunn, Norton, 2013) ‘Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending’ states that (1) buying experiences, (2) making treats a rare occurrence, (3) paying now, consuming later, (4) focus on enjoyable time over making more money, and (5) investing in others all yield higher levels of happiness for the spender.
Data 3: (Psychology Today, Oxytocin-Pair Bonding). Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in empathy, generosity, sex, flirting, orgasm, birth, breast feeding, and trust. Many of these increase Oxytocin in the giver and the receiver. (Psychology Today: Paul Zak, 2013) Ways to increase Oxytocin include: Listen with your eyes, give a gift, share a meal, meditating on others, a nice bath, pet a dog, hugs, use social media. Increasing oxytocin increases behaviors of generosity by 80%.

Musical tracks are provided via:
Riot-Bomber (Sting)
MK2-Far Away (Sting)

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