Agency and Fun

Volkswagen ran several cool experiments to test whether they can change behavior by making things more “fun.”

In one example, they installed response mechanisms in subway stairs to make them look and sound like pianos when people walked up them. The results were that way more people took the stairs; judging by the videos, they had a blast doing it. A second example involved making garbage cans emit a cartoonish falling noise when trash is thrown in. Clearly there is some inherent response to haptic experiences and agency at play here.

The "Fun Theory" experiments were later turned into an online and television ad campaigns.