Analyzing Koster

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"I'd rather not play than feel that inept, even if the other players are friends of mine."

Now I can relate to that statement made by Koster in Chapter 1 because no one ever wants to look like a fool or be the loser while playing a video game.  Come on, we all have laughed at and teased the player who cannot learn the controls fast enough to keep up with the others or repeatedly dies in action.  Games are supposed to be fun, right?

Koster nicely takes on the task of explaining how games are fun and why they are important to all humans of all ages.  As a biologist, I especially appreciated Koster's in depth look at how our brains work.  Koster makes the statement that "when our brains is really into practicing something, we'll dream about it."  My brain must really practice some things because I have dreamt about certain levels of a game, the chords of a Guitar Hero song, a particular fingering pattern of my flute music, and analyzing bugs!  Okay that last example had to do with my job, and it was definitely a nightmare.

I was glad for Chapter 3 when Koster delved specifically into games, and the many ways that games can become boring to us, losing the fun.  Koster's main definition of a game is "one that teachers us everything it has to offer before we stop playing."  So what are we really learning?

See what everyone else is saying about Koster here.


Jessie Krehlik said:

I know exactly what Koster's talking about in chapter 1...I just joined Xbox Live for the first time, after avoiding it for years like the plague. My reason? I don't like losing, and I KNOW I don't stand a chance against all those hard-core gamers out there in cyberspace. My first experience proved me right...I died at least a dozen times, and no one would talk to me. Epic fail.

You asked, what are we really learning, and I wish I had a solid answer to that. For the majority of this book so far, I've been kind of wishing he would focus more on video games rather than just games in general. I understand that he's trying to show us that video games are no different from board games or imaginary games, but still. It'd be nice if he'd get a little more into it, don't you think?

Matt Takacs said:

"When our brain is really into practicing something, we'll dream about it."

If it's true, then how do nightmares fit into that theory?

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