2/1/11 Nicole C-N

When we were prompted to answer the question what is fun, the first thing that came to my mind was famous saying: time flies when you’re having fun. Thinking upon how games  relate to fun, I found it interesting when Koster explained how the mind is “not really ‘conscious’ in the way that we think [it is]; we do most things on autopilot” (p. 16).  I asked would fun be considered a conscious or unconscious experience? I usually don’t determine whether I have had fun or not until after completing whatever task I am rating as being fun. Then again, when I have fun, I don’t sit there and ponder about the world and its workings; I am consumed in the experience, whether it’s trying to avoid the ghosts in Pac Man or the “pointless” routine of finding Waldo’s face in the crowd. I am conscious of making the decision to have fun, but am I conscious when experiencing it?  

The same thing applies to playing games. When playing games, if we are conscious of rules and the patterns that games present to us, how is it that we can engage in unconscious play? Can we start a game fully conscious and loose ourselves within it?

When reading chapter four of A Theory of Fun, I began to think back on how it is I have learned most of what I know. Koster stated, “Games teach us to examine the environment, or space, around us” (p. 54). In magazines when you try to find the differences between two pictures, you play it to test your mind’s ability to recognize change. However, I believe we take the importance of the game for granted. When proof-reading through a paper you are essentially doing the same thing, looking for the differences between what you have learned to be correct and what you have written down. How often do we or can we attribute our ability to notice errors or quickly find a solution to a problem from playing games?

Is there game that does not teach anything to its player, and if so, what is it and why not?

 In Caillois’s explanation about games, he states his belief that games are unproductive (p. 9). If we gain nothing from the unproductive nature of a game, how is it that games are heavily relied upon in learning? Is knowledge not considered an important form of wealth?

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