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Games and the Design of Optimal Human Experience

Games vs Schools

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.

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Games and the Design of Optimal Human Experience

Games and the Design of Optimal Human Experience

https://medium.com/the-polymath-project/games-and-the-design-of-optimal-human-experience-2245ded0474e

medium.com

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Key Ideas

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. 

Games and learning

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.

Boredom and learning

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.

Games vs Schools

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 as transmission failures

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.

Learning, good and bad

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.

Rewarding human experience

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.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

A new disorder

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

The term "addiction"

Addiction can include:

  • Addiction as a moral transgression, like excessive drinking or drug use.
  • Addiction as a scientific disease, which characterize alcoholism and drug addiction as biological.
  • Colloquial violation, which applies the term to almost any fixation. 

The idea that someone can be addicted to a behavior, as opposed to a substance, remains debatable.

Arguments against gaming addiction
  • Excessive gameplay is a symptom of a larger problem, like anxiety or depression.
  • The fear of possible addiction arrises from moral panic about new technologies, not scientific research or clinical data.
  • Making excessive gaming a disorder can harm the gaming industry by stigmatizing their products. 

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Lifestyle Gamification
Lifestyle Gamification

It is when you to turn a task into a game to motivate yourself to finish it.

It motivates the "player" to chase after rewards as he gets points and achieve new levels with new challen...

What Makes Games Addictive
  • Epic meaning and calling to finish a mission.
  • Development and accomplishment inspires us to finish the game.
  • Empowerment of creativity to bring imagination to life.
  • Ownership and possession of rewards.
  • Social influence and relatedness or envy.
  • Scarcity and impatience to have things we don't have.
  • Undpredictability and curiosity of what the next challenges are.
  • Loss coins and chances and avoidance of failure.
Be a Game Master
Attach rewards to your to do list. 
  • Reward yourself for fulfilling one or several tasks

Use surprise rewards.

  • Determine a reward by chance.

Engage in time-based challenges

Make a deal with your friend.

  • Challenge and motivate each other to finish a task

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Rethinking Success

We liken success to sports, exams or battles that have winners and losers, and that have an end. However, success means having the stamina to keep going.

There might be many peop...

Patience and Idleness

The kind of patience that leads to success is not the same as waiting. Waiting has no benefits. Investing time doesn't do anything on its own.

The kind of patience needed for success is an active, self-doubting kind of patience. It's putting in enormous amounts of work, reviewing the work, questioning if it was the right work, then making adjustments and trying again.

Build-Up and Breakthroughs

Success tends to accrue in two different modes:

  • Build up: It is the steady accumulation of improvements that you can see month after month, that will eventually help you reach your destination.
  • Breakthroughs: It requires a lot of effort with no visible benefits, but every once in a while, there's an insight that unlocks your potential.

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