Just Seven Things

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

Archive for the tag “Psychology”

Psychology of Game Playing: thoughts from the blogosphere

Building on my initial post on this weeks topic of the Psychology of Game Playing. My challenge is how and why playfulness and games both help deliver personal change and also enable creativity and problem solving.

Joel Gruber writes a great post on how playing games enables you to try out a new ‘skin’; to learn a new way of feeling and thinking by dropping your old rules and trying out some new rules for the game you’re about to play. I immediately started thinking about the use of modelling in NLP and how game playing allows us to creatively explore new potential models. So game playing as a great way of accessing ‘what-if’.

The great takeaway for me is: ‘You build worlds that allow you to tap into your unconscious mind and expose creative and problem-solving abilities’. So this gives one answer to my challenge about games enabling creativity and problem solving.

But I wonder also whether it can help towards ‘games delivering personal change’? Does the building of new worlds or trialling new skins; the ‘what if’ modelling enable us to make a leap from our old bad habits to experience a new set of possibilities? Does it enable us to feel how a new good routine or habit would make us feel?

It’s a nice thought, but for me the game playing that succeeds is far more simple. It feels more like we trick ourselves rather than aid ourselves.

Marelisa’s post on A Guide for Creating new Habits is an excellent analysis, and one that I want to look at in more detail later in the week in terms of how her ‘profile’ of a new habit appears to have a lot of parallels with game playing

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The Psychology of Game Playing: Creating Good Habits & Having Great Thoughts

Puzzle by Billy Alexander

Puzzle by Billy Alexander

This week I want to really explore how taking a playful approach to your conscious and unconscious pursuits can be so successful.

I have posted on a number of occasions on this subject matter, including on:

– The use of simple games/ tools to get things done or shift habits

‘Choice architecture’ to nudge to change

Unconsciously restricting time to create focused creativity

Thoughts on the ‘why’ of the success of using simple games to shift habits have included:

  • Does game playing lessen the ‘weight’ of the reactive response? Does it remove resistance because the new routine to be adopted is being done so as a game/ challenge as opposed to a mental challenge? It is therefore made ‘neutral’ by the game. – How Easily Simplicity tips into Bad Habits
  • By accepting our ‘peopleness’ and suggesting rather than telling we have greater success in change. – Nudge Yourself to Change
  • We don’t like being told what to do. Using a simple ‘light-touch approach’ to change hooks you into change easier that having a great set of ‘worthy’ reasons why the change is good. – Good Habits, Bad Habits and the Breaking of Both

But, to be honest, I’ve only really scratched the surface and I’m intrigued as to the why for the following reasons: Read more…

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