Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Despite All Our Games

by Shannon Drake

Games are addictive for the same reason anything pleasurable is addictive: Our brains give us little pats of wonderful chemicals when we do enjoyable things. Sometimes the wiring wins.

Shannon asserts that despite all these years of evolution, we are still simple organisms subject to Skinner's behaviourism like a rat in a cage, as demonstrated by the undoubtfully additive power of games. Do the educators miss anything?

Games and game designers have been telling us a number of things, see e.g. Educational Games Don't Have to Stink! Now we can add to this list that it is the triggering of pleasure which makes games additive. How can we make courses pleasurable so that students are constantly being pat by "wonderful chemicals when we do enjoyable things"?.

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