Learning: the key to Fun

The reading presented the idea that fun is simply the brain learning, or recognizing new patterns. This makes a lot of sense drawing on experience and the examples presented. If a person has seen a game and mastered it, then they understand the pattern and will most likely not want to play it again. If a game is new and presents a clear pattern that can be understood by the player, then they have fun because they are learning the new pattern. If the game lacks in pattern, then it will quickly become redundant. As I was reading, I had the following question: If the brain becomes bored after mastering the pattern, then how can a person play a game over and over again? I then realized that if a game has several different options to start out with, or various choices and decisions to make throughout the game, then the game will offer different challenges for the brain to overcome. Take for example Pokemon for gameboy color, in the beginning the player chooses one of the three pokemon. If the person chooses squirtle first and beats the game, then maybe next time they can choose charmander to make the game a little bit different. It is still the same game but the brain has not learned everything the game has to offer. I’m sure this is something that a game designer would need to keep in mind in order for the game to continue to be a challenge or learning experience.

1 thought on “Learning: the key to Fun

  1. Professor Sample

    That’s a great question: “If the brain becomes bored after mastering a pattern, then how can a person play a game over and over again.” As you suggest, I think the best games have enough variation in the pattern to keep the game from becoming stale. Or another way to express the idea: the best games have enough unpredictability in them to keep us from ever totally mastering them.

Comments are closed.