Koi Network Article Series #2 — Happy Failing Happy Winning
We hardly know anyone that enjoys failures. Failure is nasty, accompanied by a variety of emotions: embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness, and shame, to name a few. And people will do virtually anything they can to escape feeling such emotional discomfort.
Then how come gamers can spend more than 80 percent of the time failing, and miraculously, still love what they are doing?
Nicole Lazzaro, a world-renowned game researcher, designer, and speaker who makes games more fun, reports that one of her most significant research findings is: gamers spend nearly all of their time failing. Roughly four times out of five, gamers don’t complete the mission, run out of time, don’t solve the puzzle, lose the fight, fail to improve their score, crash and burn, or just die.
It makes you wonder if gamers actually enjoy failing? As it turns out, yes.
Positive Failure Feedback
The right kind of failure feedback is a reward. It makes us more engaged and more optimistic about our odds of success. Positive failure feedback reinforces our sense of control over the game’s outcome. And a feeling of control in a goal-oriented environment can create a powerful drive to succeed.
In research, multiple players describe this phenomenon perfectly. They say that the Super Monkey Ball, a series of arcade platform video games, is pretty much the definition of addictive, in a good way. Because it perfectly balances the intense frustration at failing to complete a course with the absolute desire to have just one more go.
But without positive failure feedback, this belief is easily undermined. If failure feels random or passive, we lose our sense of agency. As technology journalist Clive Thompson reminds us,
“it is only fun to fail if the game is fair — and you have every chance of success.”
Hope Trumps Everything
Hope primes our minds for real success.
Scientists have found that optimism is closely correlated to a higher quality of life in pretty much every way imaginable. After all, optimism is what allows us to take action to improve our lives and the lives of others.
Of course, it is entirely possible to go overboard: too much optimism can be as harmful as too little, which is why it needs to be flexible and continually assessed.
Games are perfect environments for practicing flexible optimism. Good games provide a steady flow of actionable goals in environments we know are designed for our success, and they give us the chance to inject some flexible and appropriate goals into our daily lives whenever we need them most.
It explains why, as a major survey of high-level executives indicates, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and presidents, revealed that 70 percent of them regularly play casual computer games while working. In other words, most senior executives report taking daily computer game breaks that last on average between fifteen minutes and one hour.
What will your next break be like?
About Koi Metaverse
Koi Aims to Unlock the Next-Gen GameFi Metaverse Economies by Building the Digital Collectibles Platform for Virtual GameFi NFTs on Multichains.
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