Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Game Playing: Is it all about Breaking the Rules?

Interestingly (but not surprisingly), there is a lot of recent material (psychology papers/ articles/ essays) which comes at the psychology of game playing from the gaming perspective.

Steve Nicholl’s article that I have previously referenced gives a good ‘primer’ in the basic psychological analysis of games and play. What strikes me is the contrast between the general meaning of ‘playfulness’ and the constraints of ‘rules’, which are obviously core to Piaget’s view (explained in the article) of the third and final stage of game play development – playing with rules.

In Guy Claxton’s Hare Brain Tortoise Mind, an explanation of intuition considers how it is important that you have not become too entrenched in a problem: ‘But if one is too steeped in the problem, the danger is that the grooves of thought become so worn that they do not allow a fresh perception, or a mingling of currents of ideas to occur’

Does game playing enable you to adopt and try out a different set of rules, or ‘grooves of thought’ that enable you to bounce into a new perception? 

Part One of Anders Hejdenberg’s article covers some interesting ground comparing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the needs fulfilment in game playing. It is this that I want to look further at in relation to Marelisa’s post on A Guide for Creating new Habits. The title of one section ‘Why Brains love Games’ forges our relationship with game play on an ongoing rather than just developmental basis.

Joe Jeskiewicz’s piece on the Psychology of Game Design to be frank currently blows my mind a bit in taking the things that I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of days to the next level. If we take the position that game play can be used for taking on multiple personalities for creativity and problem-solving, the designing of games to turbo-charge creativity seems at first thought to take things to a whole new dimension…….

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