Gamificiation in Video Games and Business

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Gamification in Video Games and Business

Using strategic thinking and incentives to win the game of life.


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Ask Lewis About Game Theory

What is this Q & A series about? There are some things within strategic thinking and gamer psychology you really do…

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I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love.

HAGT: The Secret System To Winning The Game Of Life

HAGT is an anagram for Harrison’s Applied Game Theory…

…To understand how HAGT works you need to understand how game theory works.





Among scientists, game theory is the name used to describe systematic concepts that were designed to explain why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person) might also affect the outcome of the decision. This concept is so important that researchers in the field have won dozens of Nobel Prizes including the two awarded this year

Today, (2020) game theory has become an umbrella term or ‘unified field’ theory for thousands of games, most being rational approaches to many different defined interactions including relationships in business, spirituality, competition, sports, romance and even interactions with nonhuman players such as computers, animals, and plants.


Another way of describing game theory is the observation of a set of ideas and numbers that describe the past, present, or future state of something particularly strategic interactions between two or more individuals or groups (players) in a situation containing set rules and outcomes. Gamer theory used in a number of disciplines and can be applied to make individual choices in everyday life. The theory has most notably used as a tool within the study of economics, particularly in politics, sports, and international affairs. The economic application of game theory can be a valuable tool to aid in the fundamental analysis of industries, sectors, and any strategic interaction between two or more firms or individuals who need to strategize to create maximum benefit at the lowest possible cost.

How is game theory connected to happiness? Happiness can mean different things to different people. What game theory, especially my approach, known as Harrison’s Applied Game Theory (HAGT) can do is, reduce the ways in which people suffer.

Suffering is disruptive and at times necessary mental, emotional, psychological, and also a spiritual experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. On the positive side, suffering can contribute to how you organize meaning in your emotional world and much more. One should never assume that all suffering is negative. The key is to understand which suffering is essential and which is a self-created illusion.

Some suffering is an expression of natural law — an essential tool for survival. For the unaware individual, it is often a negative experience, especially if this individual has made poor choices in the past.


Compassion, one of the most worthy, and admired human qualities; often comes from recognizing the suffering of others. Their suffering may present great meaning and direction to your own life, motivating, and also inspiring you to serve others in need. This service, in turn, creates a larger sense of community.

What determines how intense your suffering is or will be? The origin and cause of suffering; its processes, the meaning it presents to the individual who seems to be suffering; it’s related social, personal, and cultural behaviors; the knowledge of how to manage, reduce, or eliminate the suffering; and the benefits one might accrue for having suffered will all influence the intensity of that suffering. Add to this the frequency of each occurrence, plus the concurrence of mental, emotional, psychological, and also spiritual factors involved. Now by combining these with the duration of the suffering, and you have a wide range of experiences related to suffering.

If you are to understand the meaning of your life it is essential that you explore how and why you suffer.

The Meaning of Life

All human suffering, whether necessary or self-created, is tied to obstacles that have meaning for us. Such an obstacle

may be associated with some physical or psychological discomfort, or spiritually speaking, from the “pain of longing” — the seeking of something deeper than the world of form. Who can say what it might be?

Transcending obstacles defines much of what goes on in life. Think about it. It is likely that you function day to day on “automatic pilot,” then suddenly you experience a usually unexpected obstacle. Now, this obstacle might be walking up the steps of a non-functioning escalator, or waiting in a long line at the post office. It may be something equally annoying like a sudden red light that causes you to hit the brakes on your car. These types of challenges are what get your attention.

When things, events, or people limit your freedom, these “obstacles” take on meaning. We are also often drawn to things of great beauty, sensuality, and elegance. These things also have meaning. So as you can see, to notice something, positive or negative is to give it meaning.

What does it mean for something to have meaning? This is an important question. Many great thinkers have proposed that all meaning is based on your perception as well as shifts in your perception.

Many of us go through life unconsciously. We each decide arbitrarily that some things are important while others are not. Something might have meaning now that did not have any meaning just a few moments ago.


Does ‘meaning’ have to have a particular quality or quantity to it? Will any sense of meaning do? How would you even know if something had more than a superficial meaning? What’s the link between meaning and significance in daily action? If something has meaning for you, does it have ‘meaning’ because it reinforces your sense of being — or is something deeper going on? Is meaning anything more than what grabs your attention?

Your answers to these questions about the “meaning of life” may have great implications for how you think, make choices, use language, and communicate with others in the process of daily living. Without this inquiry, you may be destined to a life of confusion or intellectual, emotional, and spiritual numbness.

What Harrison’s Applied Game Theory does is offer a person the ability to be more effective, efficient, precise, productive, and self-aware. It also gives creative and innovative thinkers the opportunity to create greater meaning in their life by making a measurable difference in the world.

So I did applied game theory become the center of my life?


In 2002 I saw the movie A Beautiful Mind about Nobel prize-winning mathematician John Nash. Nash was a pioneer in the development of Game Theory. This story is not about Nash or the movie. It is about the door that opened in my mind’s eye after seeing the film.



The subject of this particular story is actually not a human being, it is a concept – applied game theory.  Please note that I am not a mathematician and I am not an academic and  I am not a computer scientist. I’m just a regular person trying to make the best of my life as most of us are.




After seeing a Beautiful Mind it became obvious to me that everything in life, as is often said is a “game”.  That is a common cliché, winning the game of life, yet, what does that exactly mean?


For me, it means that except for a few things such as the hunger to learn of spiritual things, the nature of art, the exploration of truth, understanding philosophy, making sense of our emotions, and the experience of culture, everything in life really is a game.


In practical terms that means that in a world made up of people, places, and things there’s always a playing field, a board, or a game space of some type. The game might be a video game, your job, your family, or your friendships. You can’t have a game without a game space, whether a conceptual environment (a political party) or an actual playing field or board as in football, chess, or track and field.



All games will have players, and in applied game theory, there must be at least two players (sometimes the other player is a computer algorithm). If a game has many players and is highly competitive, there will usually also be cheaters.  Here, cheaters are players (often called “agents”) who know that they are not going to win the game playing by the rules.  These players intentionally break the rules knowing that they will be caught. It is a type of strategy.  They calculate that the benefits they will gain from cheating will be greater than the cost of any penalty they might receive for cheating.


If a person is to win at the game of life, they must have an endgame. An endgame here is what a person wishes to achieve at the end of a specific process (game). Is it wealth, a great marriage, a nice home, to become a philanthropist, to experience spiritual fulfillment? So what are the markings of a game?  Every game, in order to be a game, must have a game space, rules of engagement, players, referees, penalties for cheating,  and a definition of what winning means (the end-game).


Once a person realizes that life really is a game, specific changes will take place in their way of thinking.


By Martin Mark


To begin with, winning and knowing when you have won becomes essential in the process. To win, does not mean everyone else has to lose.  There are win-win games where all the players get to win.  However, when placed in situations where other people insist on playing a strategy where only they win and everybody else needs to lose, the skilled gamer not only knows how to outwit their adversary but can even convert their adversaries’ point of view so that everyone benefits.

Ultimately, when a person sees their life as part of a larger game they are likely to develop a greater interest and intention to be more effective, efficient, precise, productive, and self-aware (EEPPSA).


So each of us has a choice to make. Do we want to live our lives without much thought, simply surviving and maybe prospering if we get lucky? Or do we want to have an intention and look at each moment mindfully, recognizing that with game thinking at our base we can maximize our potential at the lowest possible cost?  With this line of thinking, we can also help others to win,  making the world a better place?



In this complex, multi-layered game, we call “life”, living through cognitive biases, logical fallacies, Fake News, and so-called “alternative facts” just won’t work.


The game of life


In order to survive and prosper, even the most simple and common person will need to understand some basic ideas. These are ideas that can be understood by a 9th Grader.  Even an individual who has played Tic-tac-toe, Rock-paper-scissors, checkers, chess, ping-pong, or any team sport can follow this line of thought to solve problems.


At the next level…

There are more sophisticated and advanced ideas which any high-school student would be familiar with that can be applied to solve problems and for “winning the game of life”.  Ideas that include Murphy’s Law, worst-case scenarios, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, critical thinking, pattern language, probabilities, etc. These are the types of ideas players often use in poker, sports betting, or in applying common sense to solve a problem. Those who can do this and do it well will prosper and survive better than those who don’t.

“the person who refuses to learn about applied game theory in the game of life will be eaten by those who do”.  


Why do I say this? Because often, in life, those who know gamer thinking may not always be ethical, moral, or even have your best interests at heart. It is important to be able to see trouble coming and have the ability, strategies, and tactics to address these challenges.


In Conclusion

The takeaway here is to recognize your life is a game, recognize you are a player in that game, and that all the people around you, whether they know it or not, are also players in that game. When you play, play to win. If you are a truly extraordinary player, a true visionary, play for everyone to win!




About the Author: Lewis Harrison teaches and Coaches individuals and organizations about using Applied Game Theory to become more efficient, effective, and productive. Contact him at


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Most of my blogs are anchored into the concept of Applied Game Theory. This idea explores how and why people make certain choices, including decisions related to their health, well-being, personal success, and self-awareness.

More About the Course on Applied Game Theory

Researchers in game theory have won over twenty Noble Prizes.

Learn more about the powerful tool of applied game theory for self-improvement, personal development, and strategic life skills.

Applying all of the gaming skills you have learned from the sandbox, through Rubick’s Cube, and now into video games and sports will change your life in every way, for the better.

The Course in Applied Game Theory A-Z and Beyond…:  Learn how to use applied game theory in your own life with this personalized and comprehensive course

The Great Game Theory Guide: #14 Using “Big Data” to Create Winning Strategies

L. Harrison

Q. Lewis, where do you get the information you need to create winning game-based strategies?

A. Many game theorists ask how I access so much information across so many disciplines and fields of exploration. I answer, that my research, sourcing, and process has been developing for over forty years.

Now, before I answer your question it might be helpful if we begin with a short introduction to the basics of game theory. Below is an article (a 6-minute read) as well as a more in-depth video embedded in the article. Both were created so they would be understood by 12-year-old.

The Article:

The Best Introduction to Game Theory, Simple and Easy to Understand — Written for a 12-Year-Old

A. Now to answer your question. A. I have been a student and teacher in the human potential, personal development, and self-help movements for over fifty years. It as brought me plenty of laughs, joy, playfulness, and introspection

I am always amused and intrigued by those of my peers that like to claim that all problems are simply the product of negative thinking.

“These are either truly extraordinary people or superficial thinkers with no sense of empathy or compassion for others”.

I imagine that if one can live in the state that Zen teachers call Beginner’s Mind, then there really are no problems, there is only, what “Is”! For those with a deep authentic faith in God, there are also no problems. One can simply say “it is God’s will” or “it is Karma” or “it is all grace” and just live with whatever happens.

By Brew Books

Of course, many of us do not fit into any of these categories. We may even aspire to do so but the reality (or the illusion) of our lives doesn’t allow this. Our parent dies and we not only grieve but also see the loss of this loved one as a problem. We care about our job and feel it is a problem when we feel we are underpaid or have been terminated unfairly. Deeply caring people feel it is a problem when poor people are kept in poverty or are victimized by circumstances beyond their control. Political conservatives often proclaim that “big Government” is a problem, and progressive liberals often believe rich people paying little or no taxes is a problem. The truth is that our own limited thinking is the problem. The rest of us need to jump into the game.

I soon came to understand that life is about knowing we have obstacles to transcend or overcome. As a monk, I could simply meditate and contemplate. In the world, I soon saw that I would need to meditate, contemplate, and strategize. Whether we call it a problem or an opportunity to learn something and grow from the experience is irrelevant. Whatever our attitude may be about the challenge it is nonetheless a challenge. If we are spiritually-focused or are so detached from the affairs of the world that nothing really seems to matter then game theory can do nothing for us. If we are arrogant, irrational, drowning in our own cognitive biases and logical fallacies we will slide into a life of struggle and suffering.

By Day Dream

The Takeaway

Knowledge is power. In life, it best to create a long-term goal or vision using facts, not just opinions . Once we have done that we can use HAGT (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory) and gamer-psychology to strategize effectively while maximizing our potential at the lowest possible cost.

I invite you to read, my regular blogs on game theory, and lifehacking and follow my posts and vlogs throughout the social network:

§ YouTube: The “Asklewis Lewis Harrison” channel,

§ Facebook Fan page:

§ Facebook Group and Forum: “Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory”

§ Twitter: @AskLewisH,

§ General Podcast: Tips for Success

§ Contact me at (I promise to respond to you personally).

We offer a customized and personalize Course in Harrison’s and Holistic Applied Game Theory: Become more effective, efficient, productive, innovative, and self-aware.

Study Applied Game Theory A-Z and Beyond…2.2.

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To follow all of my Great Game Theory Guide postings and stories, check out the full Table of Contents at

About the Author: Lewis Harrison, is a speaker a strategist specializing in Applied Game Theory Strategies and Personal Improvement

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To read the next game theory story on this series just click the URL below:

HAGT And The 80% – 20% Principle – Achieving your full potential without struggle

Achieving your full potential without struggle

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

I have always been intrigued by the ideas of the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He observed in 1906 that for many phenomena, 20% of invested energy is responsible for 80% of the results. This important statistic reflects the value of conserving and balancing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual resources as a means of reducing struggle, and suffering.

I have observed among many of my students that those who develop a mastery of conserving and leveraging their most accessible resources such as time, space, emotional energy, etc., experience less unnecessary struggle than those who do not. Defining your strengths and learning to conserve them and apply them effectively and efficiently is not a simple exercise. This is a constant process that requires the ability to leverage different resources.

Conservation and balance is a discipline which is innate but often repressed or ignored in exchange for short term gain and immediate gratification. Once an individual has committed to the process this idea of consistent conservation and balance becomes as natural as breathing.

Conserving and balancing is a step-by-step process. Each step requires a distinct awareness. If you are not conscious and have not transcended attachment to short-term gratification, you can take this concept, which is a path to freedom, and turn it into a rigid, mental prison. The greater your awareness and the less your attachment to old ways of thinking, dogma, and short-term gratification, the less unnecessary struggle you will experience.

It is often said that “anything done in moderation is not destructive” but that, of course, isn’t necessarily so. Moderate self-destructive behavior is nevertheless self-destructive. If you understand the value of conserving resources, you may still have difficulty balancing them, especially if in this process of conservation you are motivated by pride, vanity, ambition, and hunger to own more and more or experience greater and greater pleasure at any cost. Unfortunately, those who delude themselves by acting in destructive ways, even if moderately so, don’t know who they are, where they are, where they are going, where they have been, or the cost they are bound to pay later.

A person in this state of being may push things to the point of excess and then claim he or she is being moderate. Unfortunately, this way of thinking and living, more often than not, leads to an unpleasant end. Understanding conservation and balance is not just a philosophical issue. It is connected to an individual’s ability to survive.


It is only the immature, unaware, arrogant, or emotionally unbalanced person that struggles with this concept. In the end, he or she is the first to succumb to a dangerous, toxic, or stressful environment.

Ultimately, conservation and balance is the door to a meaningful life.

Author — Lewis Harrison is a practical philosopher. He can be reached at


By Day Dream

I invite you to read, my regular blogs on game theory, and lifehacking and follow my posts and vlogs throughout the social network:


§ YouTube: The “Asklewis Lewis Harrison” channel,

§ Facebook Fan page:

§ Facebook Group and Forum: “Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory”

§ Twitter: @AskLewisH,

§ General Podcast: Tips for Success

§ Contact me at (I promise to respond to you personally).

We offer a customized and personalize Course in Harrison’s and Holistic Applied Game Theory: Become more effective, efficient, productive, innovative, and self-aware.

Study Applied Game Theory A-Z and Beyond…2.2.

By L. Harrison

Click on this URL link below and explore the course

To follow all of my Great Game Theory Guide postings and stories, check out the full Table of Contents at

About the Author: Lewis Harrison, is a speaker a strategist specializing in Applied Game Theory Strategies and Personal Improvement

Join my mailing at

To read the next game theory story on this series just click the URL below:

Political Correctness Guidelines added to Scrabble – As Reported – on the BBC


 Applied Game Theory, and Gamer Psychology

Welcome to my Applied game Theory Newsletter. This is the place you will get real facts, not fake news, or the hype of wish-full thinking. Read on and you will learn how to create winning strategies while becoming more effective, efficient, precise, productive, and self-aware.  Today’s report is about Political Correctness in the World of Competition Scrabble

Today, Leaders of the Scrabble tournament community in North America are voting on whether to ban the use of racial and homophobic slurs. This is an example of political correctness 2020. I’m not saying doing this is a bad thing. It is, however an example of a trend.



The vote will decide whether the words will be removed from the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) list of accepted words. Though I have searched I have not found as many political correctness articles as I thought I might, so I decided to tackle the subject



You may ask – What is the meaning political correctness?  Why is this such an important story?”  You might even ask  – Why do people dislike political correctness?” The answer is that it goes to the very core of the culture war over what has come to be known as Political Correctness or PC.

Do you think people have taken political correctness too far? Obviously the people at the Scrabble Association don’t think so. Let’s explore political correctness pro and con, as well as the history of the term.




 Listen carefully – Political correctness is a term used to describe measures,  policies, or language, intended to avoid disadvantage, or offense to those of particular groups in society. In the media and public discourse, the term is generally used negatively and as a pejorative with an implication that these policies are excessive or unwarranted.  Since the late 1980s, the term has been used to describe a preference for inclusive language and avoiding language or behavior that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered discriminated against, disenfranchised or disadvantaged or especially groups defined by sexual orientation, gender, race or religious affiliation.



What started out as mildly sarcastic has become serious business. Consider that in its early usage the term politically correct was created by leftists in the 1970s and 1980s as self-critical satire.  Back then the usage was ironic, rather than a name for a serious political movement. Essentially  It was considered an in-joke among leftists used to satirize those who were too rigid in their adherence to political orthodoxy, especially by the new Left concerning positions taken by old-line communists.



The modern pejorative usage of the term emerged from conservative criticism of the New Left in the late 20th century. This usage was popularized by a number of articles in The New York Times and other media throughout the 1990sturned the term into a meme and a Regerating Thought Processes (RTPs). The term was further fueled by the debate surrounding Allan Bloom‘s 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind.  The term gained even further currency in response to Roger Kimball‘s Tenured Radicals (1990), and conservative author Dinesh D’Souza‘s 1991 book Illiberal Education.

One might say that concerning this term conservatives used a bit of tricksterism to flip the meaning of the term politically correct. Commentators on the political-left in the United States contend that conservatives use the concept of political correctness to downplay and divert attention from substantively discriminatory behavior against disadvantaged groups, and on this point, they may be right. Many progressive thinkers also argue that the political right enforces its own forms of political correctness to suppress criticism of its favored constituencies and ideologies. In the United States, the term has played a major role in the “culture war” between liberals and conservatives. Still, it was a suprise to many that somehow the humble, non-political, and highly correct game of Scrabble somehow got pulled into all of this. After all, what is scrabble about?


Here we have a word-game in which two to four players score points by placing tiles, each bearing a single letter, onto a game-board divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. The tiles must form words that, in crossword fashion, read left to right in rows or downward in columns, and be included in a standard dictionary or lexicon.

Just think how difficult it would be to force Scrabble to be politically correct? After all, the game is sold in 121 countries and is available in 29 languages. Over 150 million sets have been sold worldwide, and roughly one-third of American and half of British homes have a Scrabble set. As for groups dedicated to Scrabble – there are approximately 4,000 Scrabble clubs around the world.

What are your thoughts on political correctness?. I’d like to hear them.



By the way, since there is no Fantasy Scrabble League, I figured it would nice to offer you some free video and information about Sports Betting and FIFA Fantasy Football. Below is an introduction to one of muy favorite systems. If this is your interest explore this Complete Analytics-Driven Sports Fantasy Football and Sports Betting System. It’s based on the ideas presented in the book and movie Moneyball. Press on the play button below.



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Here is the link to the BBC report that motivated me to write this blog. Click on the BBC logo.





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