The Pleasures of Speed

In Brief

  • Speed creates four key pleasures:
    • Adrenaline rush & Spectacle
    • Progression
    • Freedom
    • Invulnerability

Adrenaline rush & Spectacle


Moving at high speeds is a thrilling, adrenaline introducing experience.

As skateboarding and biking stunt shows demonstrate, travelling at high speeds allows gravity to be defied, enabling the speeding object to momentarily fly through an air.

Such situations are filled with spectacle – they produce an awesome rush for the ‘speedster’ and are captivating for the spectators.


When travelling at high speeds, a goal becomes less distant. Reaching a goal is a satisfying experience as it is related to positive qualities such as growth and development. As speed brings us closer to goals, these positive qualities are often connected with speed.


Speed is associated with freedom, as it provides the means to travel almost anywhere.

For many centuries, people were restricted to where they could travel, as journeying a short distance would take many days. The invention of the car enabled travel at high speeds and so effectively provided freedom, as even the longest journeys could be completed in mere hours.


High speeds can create a sense of invulnerability. This is because speed:

  • makes it easier to out run dangers
  • makes it near impossible to be caught

Creating these pleasures in the Sonic games

The Speed Zone of Sonic Science examines the mechanics that can create an adrenaline rush and spectacle.
Progression, freedom and invulnerability are related to the principle of The pleasure principle of Superpower, which is examined both in its own section and throughout The Speed Zone

◄◄ Previous Section Index for this page Next Section ►►
Basic Concepts (Index) Basic Concepts The problems of speed


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