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Dashboard Forums Design Theory Thought Bubbles Reply To: Thought Bubbles

  • James Baldwin

    July 15, 2021 at 12:34 am

    I think it’s commonly understood that “play”, whether it’s children’s imaginative play, babies banging things together to see how they work, or adults engaging with complicated eurogame systems to create maximum efficiency, are all driven by our brain’s desire to learn.

    In that way, play is quite a lot like dreaming. It’s rehearsal for real life.

    But I think it’s complicated. I don’t think it’s as easy as “set collecting in games encourages hoarding in real life”, any more than “violence in video games encourages violence in real life”. I like your idea of it encouraging or teaching better organisational skills, and I think there’s some merit to that idea.

    I was brought up by a terrible hoarder, and she taught me an over sentimentality and even a personification of objects (as a child I packed and brought home a pair of shoes which had been thrown away on holiday because I felt sorry for them being abandoned!).

    When does collecting finish, and hoarding start? Are they the same thing? I find it hard to get rid of old books and DVD’s because they’re my record of the books I’ve read and films I’ve watched, so that does seem to come from a fear of forgetting. My mother was brought up by the war generation, and they didn’t have as much stuff, so they looked after and repurposed what they had. Her mantra is “it might be useful one day”. I’m not sure that conforms to the idea of hoarding Roger mentions above.

    But I think the kind of set collection we see in games is more about putting together a “tool kit” containing the things you need for life/the task at hand. That’s a very human instinct. I can see that there’s an element of “it might be useful one day” in there. But I also think those mechanics encourage good decision making about what you will REALLY need for the task at hand, and not just what you think you might need… So it’s about efficient collecting, as contrasted with indiscriminate hoarding?

    I don’t have any answers, but it’s an interesting topic.