Just Seven Things

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

The Power of Game Playing Over the Unconscious

Floral Abstraction by Japonka

Floral Abstraction by Japonka

It’s been a while since I’ve explored one of my favourite topics: game playing. But I must update in this post on some of the ongoing reading from Claxton’s Hare Brain 

I am pleased that my conclusions in August (bold in particular):

‘I think that the common component across play delivering personal change and enabling creativity and problem solving is at the level of this ‘what-if’ modelling. It enables us to try things out in the safe environment of our minds. Actual mental game play and just a natural relaxed ‘playful’ state of mind are not too far away from each other on a spectrum when considered from this perspective. Equally, I think that adopting a playful state to personal change scenarios enables the activity being undertaken to deliver the change on a repeated basis to go lower under the conscious ‘radar’. We build less mental conscious resistance to change when the activity supporting the change is tagged ‘game’.’

are mirrored (far more eloquently) on P118 of Claxton’s book:

‘When self esteem is at stake, delicate unconscious forms of information and intelligence seem to be disabled or dismissed, and the way we act becomes clumsy and coarse. When we are less ‘on our best behaviour’, the glimmerings of knowledge from the undermind are more available to guide perception and action…… The same kind of relief from pressure can be achieved by presenting the ‘test’ as if it were a guessing game, rather than a measure of achievement. When we treat something as a ‘pure guess’, we do not feel responsible for it in the same way. We are freed to utter things that come to us ‘out of the blue’, because there is no apparent standard of correctness or success against which they, or we, will be judged’

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One thought on “The Power of Game Playing Over the Unconscious

  1. Charles Turner on said:

    Hi Simon

    I like this line:

    “The same kind of relief from pressure can be achieved by presenting the ‘test’ as if it were a guessing game.”

    Reminded me that Lucy and I would always wish each other good luck on the ‘quiz’ whenever we had an exam coming up. GCSE’s ‘A’ Levels or finals were all quizzes. Although it was Lucy’s invention, I found the technique worked; just convince your brain that this is a challenging bit of fun and it comes up with some extraordinary stuff.

    Charles

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