Published on July 21, 2014
Let me tell you why serious people should take gaming seriously. Recent studies show that the brain is really good at finding patterns and then doing something called “chunking” – combining several steps or pieces of information into one. For example, we do n’t need to remember all the steps of how we get dressed in the morning. Over time, we see a pattern to the steps and chunk them together. Gradually, we learn to do these things without thinking. Do you remember locking your door this morning? Do you remember putting your keys away? Probably not, because your brain “chunked” these steps into “the things you do every morning.” This is a good thing because if you really have to think about locking the door, your brain doesn’t have the energy to notice other things (for example, the banana peel that your neighbor’s three -year-old dropped in front of your door!). Finding patterns and chunking information are so important for human survival that our brains make us feel good when we do it. Our word for this feeling that our brain sends us is “fun.” Unfortunately, most people think that fun cannot be serious, when it is actually the reward we get for learning. This is where games come in. Games are all about learning. Games let us practice seeing patterns, which is why they are so much fun.