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The Psychology of Achievement In Playing Games 80

A post on Pixel Poppers looks at the psychological underpinnings of the types of challenges offered by different game genres, and the effect those challenges have on determining which players find the games entertaining. Quoting: "To progress in an action game, the player has to improve, which is by no means guaranteed — but to progress in an RPG, the characters have to improve, which is inevitable. ... It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform — to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master — to improve their skill or knowledge. Say you take a person with a performance orientation ('Paul') and a person with a mastery orientation ('Matt'). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved. Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle."

Comment Re:Sorry but ... (Score 1) 1359

I would suggest either Somalia or Democratic Republic of Congo. Both are places where you can have your freedom, and where you can live tax free without government interference. I would suggest you bring a kalashnikov though.

But seriously, I've been living in Egypt for 2 years, although it's a corrupt dictatorship, as a foreigner it can work quite well. Bribes can get you almost anything if you do it right. And as a foreign passport holder, you are immune to arrest on most of the usual charges like running a blog or saying bad things about the King. If you can get work with Oracle or Microsoft, wages are comparable to the West. And living is cheap.

The infrastructure is crumbling though, and I'm sick of it. I could move into a gated compound, and hang out with expats and foreign-educated Egyptians, but that would bore me to death. If I wanted that, I'd move to Dubai. Which is a whole other bag of weird.

Comment Re:Cars *are* a great improvement. (Score 1) 499

I live in a city of 20 million people, and it is a disaster. Constant gridlock over major bridges, massive pollution, no green space, mass traffic casualties, ambulances unable to reach the dead and the dying. I suspect that motor cars do no scale well to mega-cities, but there are other factors involved here, illiteracy, corruption, poverty, and mismanagement.

I am so looking forward to living in the town of the future. Cities are so 1999.

Comment Re:Clinton's Act of War (Score 1) 287

Iran has a multi-party democracy.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy.
Iranian universities turn out scientists and engineers.
Saudi universities tun out ideologues.
Saudis were directly responsible for 9/11.
Saudis execute adulterers without judicial review.
Iran doesn't.
Saudis export their extreme ideology across moderate Arab states.
Iran doesn't.

Just who are the Americans trying to punish?

Comment Re:What inhibits intelligence, then? (Score 1) 453

Brains could be the reason why humans have such a hard time giving birth, and why human babies are born so helpless compared to other mammal young.

Think about sex. Peacocks with the biggest tails get more. The tails are big and heavy, but if you have the strength to carry it around, hens will want to have your babies. They've been down that evolutionary road for so many generations that their tails are huge.

I suspect there may be a similar trend at work with humans. Swap tails for brains.

But then I could be wrong.

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