Developing mastery

Fun is the experience of developing mastery. When we acquire new skills and recognize valuable patterns, our brains reward us with a shot of pleasurable sensations. 

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Problem Solving

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Games are optimal learning environments:

  • Feedback loops are short, fast and adapted to your skill level.
  • Challenges grow as you develop new skills.
  • Failures are learning opportunities because every time you make a mistake, you get a hint about how you can do better next time.

There are 4 categories here:

  • Satisfying work: clearly defined challenging activities, that provide clear feedback.
  • The experience or promise of success: we want to feel we are getting better over time.
  • Meaningfulness: being a part of something bigger.
  • Social connection: sharing experiences with others, while working towards a common goal.

If a good game teaches you everything it has to teach you before the player quits, then a good school should be one that teaches you everything it intends before the students leave.

Schools often do a bad job teaching us things that should be good for us, while games do a good job at teaching us things that are often useless.

But school and games should learn from each other: teachers should study games to learn why they’re so compelling, and game designers can think about what schools are trying to teach and find better ways of doing so.

Boredom is what we feel when our brain decides that there's nothing worth learning. It's the brain searching for new information.

And even games become boring at some point because they eventually run out of things to teach you. That's when you stop playing.

Why schools fail to teach everything they intend to:

  • The patters are too easy, so students get bored (and this is especially common for gifted students).
  • The patters to be learned are too hard, so students give up.
  • The patterns are not perceived as meaningful.

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Gamification Of Money Apps

It is 2021, and there is an app for everything. Now companies are trying new and innovative ways to hook millions to their app.

Many app makers, like those in FinTech(Financial Technology), are trying to boost the performance, engagement levels and ‘stickiness’ of the app by using gamification, where elements of video games are added to the app to make it feel thrilling and slightly addictive to the ‘player’.

A new disorder

The World Health Organization officially added a new disorder to the section on substance use and addictive behaviors : gaming disorder

A gaming disorder is defined as an overly and uncontainable preoccupation with video games — the obsession results in significant personal, social, academic or occupational impairment for at least 12 months.

However,  the idea that someone can be addicted to a behavior, as opposed to a substance, remains contentious.

Why Do You Need to Stop Playing Video Games?

One of the biggest mistakes we make when we realize we have an addiction is to try to drop the vice entirely. However, that does not go very well. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, up to 90% of alcoholics will have at least one relapse during the first four years after they get sober. Unlike video games, alcohol creates a biological addiction. However, video game addiction statistics are somewhat similar. More research needs to be done to estimate how often gamers relapse.


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