The Paradox of Play

Blurred play The Paradox of Play

Play from the Start

When we are born, we don’t have a set of predefined rules imprinted on us about what we should and shouldn’t do or how we should and shouldn’t do it! Babies have a totally open and clear mind.

They spend their time learning everything they can, using all their senses. They learn the sound of their mother’s voice, the feel of her touch, the scent of her hair, all before they even open their eyes to learn what she looks like.

From that moment on, they are exploring their environment and learning. Everything is new to them, it’s exciting and probably terrifying in equal measure. Strange faces, strange smells, and tastes. People playing peekaboo, talking in strange voices and making odd sounds that should probably mean something, but don’t. They get bounced on knees, thrown in the air, passed around and cuddled like a toy. The experience new things called emotions; love, fear, joy, sadness and more. Read More ...

Hidden in the User Types Hexad

For the first time that I can remember, someone has asked a question about a little “hidden” feature of the User Types Hexad. Two secrets actually.

Take a look at it now, what is odd?

I love symmetry – it is a quirk of mine. I hate how my kids build with LEGO, they always put the wrong colours together and use odd numbers of bricks and the like! Drives the little picky part of my brain insane. That’s part of why I have the hexagon shape, it is perfectly symmetrical – except for the circle in the middle. Read More ...

Rules, magic circles and other ways to avoid misfortune

A while back I wrote a piece called Rules Rule, but Shouldn’t Rule Everything. The upshot of the article was that you have to have rules for things to work, but you also have to understand the rules to be able to bend and break them when needed.

Rules are really important in gamified systems, they collapse without them.  Some rules are explicit and set by the system. These are the ones that you can’t break without hacking or breaking the system. Others are implicit or implied. These are the ones where trouble can sneak in. Read More ...

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