Different Ways Games Reward The Brain

I love video games and I hope most of you too love it. Video games have the power to motivate, compel, transfix us, like nothing else humans have ever invented has quite done before. They can help you learn things about learning. Games offer emotional rewards to the people who are playing games both individually and collectively. If you look at what’s going on in someone’s head while they are engaged with the game, two different processes are occurring. On the one hand there’s the wanting process which is a bit like ambition and drive—I am going to work hard, I am going to do that. On the other hand, there is the process of liking, fun, affection and delight. Many of the games are good at doing both the wanting and the liking as it is very powerful, awesome, and gives you great powers.

Getting emotionally engaged isn’t the really interesting stuff. The important thing with virtuality is that you can measure everything. Every single thing every single person who has ever played a game can be measured. The big names in the gaming business measures more than one billion points of data about their players and what they do?. This is far more detail than what you could get from any website.

For over tens and hundreds of thousands of years, we have evolved to find certain things stimulating, and as very intelligent, civilized beings, we are enormously stimulated by problem solving and learning. There are few lessons that we can take from games and use them outside of games.

1. The experience bars that measures progress:

The simple idea is that, instead of grading the students incrementally, you can give them one character avtar which constantly progresses in tiny, tiny, tiny little increments which they feel are their own. This will eventually help them progress in their studies.

2. Multiple long and short term aims:

You can give students, lots and lots of different tasks. Say, its about doing 10 of these questions, but another task is turning up to 20 classes on time. Another task is collaborating with other students, and yet another task is hitting a particular target. Break things down into small slices so that students can do tasks in parallel to keep them engaged.

3. Reward effort:

Games are brilliant at rewarding points. Every time you do something, you get credit; and even if you fail, you get a credit for trying. Failures are not punished. Same can be done with people, instead of punishing them for their failures, you need to motivate them and keep them going.

4. Feedback:

This is very crucial and games have been successful at doing this. It is very hard to learn, to feel a lesson but if you are able to model things for people and provide them with feedback, then they can learn a lesson they can see, they can move on, they can understand.

5. Element of uncertainity:

This is the neurological goldmine. People love getting rewards especially when they are uncertain of rewards. What really gets people going is the uncertain reward, pitched at the right level of uncertainty. This lights the brain up. When we don’t quite predict something perfectly, we really get excited about it.

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