One of the things I was really struck by was a pretty particular segment it happened to watch. There is an American documentary TV series, called the Aviators, and it’s all about aviation. And in one of the episodes, they asked this question at the top of the episode, about what happens if we take a 12 year old kid off the street, put him in an aviation simulator and ask him to land a 737 in Los Angeles airport in the middle of the day? And i was like, hmm, now i am interested…
And what happened was that the kid, comes into the simulator and lands the plane! Crazy,yeah? And what people said afterwards was that, the kids play many video games and that it shouldn’t be a surprise that some of them know how to do it! And they kept saying that maybe their parents are those who have the problem because simply they don’t know how to play the game.. and that really struck me!
The characteristic the kid demostrated when he sat in that simulator, was fluid intelligence; a particular kind of human intelligence that promotes new ideas and new solutions without being familiar with the problem faced. That particular characteristic is implicated very strongly in innovation.
Games raise people’ intelligence. In fact, science shows that this happens in many different ways! And it has nothing to do with how good you are in playing the game.
Merely, the act of trying causes the GREAT in your brain to INCREASE.
I don’t think that this should come necessary a surprise to anybody who has had the exposure to conteporary games. Today’s video games, require an extraordinary amount of multi-tasking skill. A game like, war of worldcraft , requires a young child to be able to do 6 different things simultaneously! Like – for instance, control their character, follow short long- term objectives and deal with the interuptions of their parents. And it produces a very very different kind of person. The evidence suggests…
It is core to GAMES, that this new person is emerging in society.
Games are challenging and constrained systems. Games, are not an unconstrained kind of creativity. Because when we ask people to act creatively in a uncostrained way, we typically get people who are highly creative, able to express themselves well in that context. Imagine if we say, “here is a video camera, go make something up” only 2-3% of people will come up with some worth watching. But if we provide a series of constraints, a SYSTEM, people are able to express their creativity.
Another reason why games are so powerful and how they create a new kind of person, a new player, is in a core mechanic of our brains that we are born with. And it’s very beautiful! Anytime you challenge yourself to accomplish something, and you achieve it, your brain releases a little bit of a beautiful beautiful chemical, called dopamine.
Challenge – achievement – aaaaaa…. 🙂
And what does dopamine cause in your brain? It makes you do that thing AGAIN! The next you want to do is that thing AGAIN!
Challenge – Achievement – Pleasure
The DIFFERENCE between games and all other systems of challenges and achievements, is the frequency which they occur. Games deliver that effect 100 times a hour but you, running a marathon ,losing weight, earning a career, happens once a year or even worse, once in a lifetime!
Other experiences cannot compete with this!
And so, over the course of 40 years of contemporary video games we have to have produced the new kind of consumer with a new worldview and a new set of demands. In that context we have to understand the opportunities and benefits. In that concept we have to understand this concept called, GAMIFICATION…