Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How we find motivation in Life as in Games ft. 'Game Frame' by Aaron Dignan

Being a dilettante, I've always wondered about motivations. I know I'm a fan of novelty, It's why I enjoy travel and have skimmed through several hobbies. I've dabbled with Parkour, BJJ and Dragon Boat racing among others.
Most recently I've been big into Board Games. A component of that scene is perpetually trying out new games. I know almost immediately whether I'll enjoy a game in the first few stages of play. I don't find Worker Placement (aka action drafting) as engaging as Social deduction (aka bluffing) games. I struggle as it is finding value in amassing wealth and resources in real life, simulating such in a game only sets off an existential crisis. On the other hand, Deception games play into my fascination with social interaction and charisma. The imperative to survive and not lose face in front of friends and strangers is a compelling one. As fan of Politics & Wrestling and an avid watcher of 'Survivor', this genre has given me a taste of that world in a fun a setting.


I have a preference for casual games and was starting to wonder why. I realised that if I could ascertain what it was I liked in Board Games, I could better understand my wiring and thus inform my approach to career and other pursuits. 'Game Frame' by Aaron Dignan illuminates the appeal of games through behavioral psychology. Here he explains the two conditions we face when embarking on a new challenge:
'Game Frame' by Aaron Dignan 
Game Frame Using: Games as a Strategy for Success
Lack of Volition. Volition is the will to do something; the motivation and internal drive to see it through. Any kind of proactive or ambitious behavior is evidence of strong volition. People who lack volition feel lost, bored, or disconnected from the task at hand. They can't see why an activity or behavior is worthwhile. A lack of volition is defined by disinterest, low involvement, and arrested development. An individual lacking volition says, "I'm not going to do that. Why would I? What's in it for me?"

Lack of Faculty. Faculty is the belief that we have the skills and tools to handle the challenges we're facing; that we know how to begin and have the confidence to pursue our goals. People who lack faculty in a particular situation may feel that it's too hard, or that it's unclear what they need to do to succeed. A lack of faculty is defined by anxiety, submission, and ultimately, despair. An individual lacking faculty says, "I can't do this. I'm not prepared. I don't know how."
Its a straightforward summation of the dichotomy we face when trying something new. Hitting the point home with a Joseph Campbell reference, Dignan illustrates the edge game's have over ordinary life.
One of the reasons we love games is because they instantly place us on our own hero's journey, and from the comfort (and safety) of our living room. There's something tremendously satisfying about playing out an archetypal struggle in which each of us, for the duration of the game at least, is the chosen one. Unlike so many other settings where seemingly meaningless and repetitive tasks frustrate us, in games we are at one with our story... Being part of a story, and one in which we know we're expected to prevail, plays to our sense of volition and faculty beautifully. We come to desire the victory that story presupposes, and we simply must find a way to win.
Games' afoot in Houston
This blog is on the analogy that Life is one big Video Game, that we do live in the "Matrix". It seems through Board Games I've just found an analog version of the simulation echo.

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