GAMES: Learning and The Study of Games

November 8th, 2008 by Susan

Back to playing mindless games of Solitaire and I'm sorry I ever found one to put on my Mac. That, and MahJong are my downfall. Then I realize that in the feeling guilt of the time wasted, there's at least one thing to be learned: the type of game, and the gameplay, tells much about the player.

Studies and research have been done, but there's nothing like empirical knowledge to set the mind humming along the different paths of observation. I can only see my own traits by way of choices.

I want something fast and mindless; my mind is elsewhere, perhaps writing a story or figuring out life (!), so I tend towards the games that are played without concentration. It's like driving a car, where you need not know how far to turn the wheel to make a corner. Hands and eyes and judgment are all fine-tuned by experience to make the connections without conscious calculations. Indeed, a different part of the brain is likely at work here, pulling out files that tell the hands what to do, while the mind concentrates on other things.

Another thing I've learned, while I am competitive with myself, against my own standards or gauges to achieve rather than anyone else's to match or beat, I find that unless I'm beating a time standard or point value, I tend to leave a game unfinished the instant I know I'm going to win. I realize that with this new edition for Mac of Solitaire, for example, there is no scoring, so there is no reason for me to go through all the placement of cards and waste that time. I've seen other people go all the way through each and every time–maybe they like watching the visuals of the win.

Anyhow, I'm getting antsy for going back into graphical games. I lean, I think, towards strategy, yet I don't like the racing or fighting to stay alive. Visuals are exciting enough–when well done. Silent Hill scared me away with those skin-stretchy things that ran after and killed me many times, and I've got several new ones that I haven't even put on the computers yet. Still, through Brendan's site, and through Mark's praise on his blog, I'm considering downloading Spore.

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