Exploring the game-based strategies, tools, techniques, and short-cuts to getting things done.
In recent years I have developed a fascination with the art and science of gamer-thinking. Gamer thinking is a process of using strategic patterns drawn from solving puzzles and playing board and video-games to solve real-world problems.
With the success of eBay, Amazon.com, and even Medium.com it is clear that we are living in a world that is functioning evermore on platforms built on game-based models. A few years ago I joined an extraordinary group of thought leaders, creators, mentors, business people, philanthropists, professional problem solvers, game theorists, and practical philosophers, who came together to support and expand the practical philosophy of Applied Game Theory. Out of this, we formed our own little Mission Impossible squad and real-world problem-solving project.
“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”― Benjamin Franklin
Today we are still collaborating through this collaborative adventure, where we get to explore various models for greater efficiency, effectiveness, precision, accuracy, and productivity. We offer help and support to individuals and organizations in developing tools, tips, and strategies for solving problems of all types. We do this without a fee.
It is a wonderful experience, watching and participating, as these extraordinary thinkers embrace all approaches to personal development built on service, love, and compassion. Much of our focus now, is on teens who already have so much experience in game thinking.
If a teen is not a skilled game-based thinker, life can quickly become a harsh reality. This is true for humans and even in the animal kingdom. Natural scientists observed that teens of many species are hard-wired to put themselves in peril as they experience challenges, setbacks, and triumphs. This often takes place as a type of rite of passage. For example, California sea otters, knowingly enter the great white–inhabited “triangle of death” off the coast. This risky behavior among human teens might seem irrational but it actually makes evolutionary sense. Yes, the crucial, vulnerable, and exhilarating phase of life between childhood and adulthood can be rife with risks, yet ultimately, it is all about testing boundaries. By testing boundaries through excessive, risky behavior, an adolescent will enter adulthood with a greater understanding of what is needed to survive and prosper. In the wild, of course, all of these risk-takers may not survive.
The baby bear that explores the lion’s den may not make it out alive. For human teens who have some rational adult supervision, extremely reckless behavior can be nipped in the bud before any real damage is done. If a teen is provided with training in gamer-thinking, what was previously considered risky behavior becomes much less so?
Until recently it was unlikely that a tween, young adult, or college student would be aware of the terms game theory, or gamer-thinking; even while spending hours a day playing video games. Occasionally, college students might encounter a short introduction to classical game theory as part of a business, or economic program. Otherwise, the concept would sadly be ignored in most other academic disciplines. This is likely to change soon.
In 2019, the University of Alaska — Fairbanks announced plans to incorporate competitive video gaming — esports — into student course programs and activities. Citing student interest, the school began offering a business class related to esports. The critical aspect here is that it is likely that many students in such a program will intuitively understand that the skills gained in their studies here will give them a doorway to greater success in life.
A class already offered by the School of Management helped organize the university’s esports and gaming summit that year. It drew about 300 people and featured esports industry professionals. Of course, all that is being described here points to gamer-thinking as a future trend for creating success in business and in day-to-day life.
Learning to become a game-based thinker is a progressive process beginning in childhood. We go from the sandbox to learning how to play with dolls like Barbie, G.I. Joe, and Potato Head. In time, skilled game-based thinkers will advance to becoming creative and innovative problem solvers, and skilled competitors through the use of symbols and tools that give them access to new ideas.
It would be a mistake in judgment for any motivated individual to ignore gamer-thinking. Clearly, gamer-thinking it is not a trend. It is a new reality. If we ignore it, we are planting the seeds for future situations where we are likely to be without the skills needed to deal with life’s challenges.
Have no doubt, as we go through life we will be forced to deal with irrational rules, incompetent bureaucracies, predators, cheaters, hustlers, and zero-sum players. All this while trying to survive in an increasingly “reckless,” pre-meditated, win at all costs culture. The result of all this is likely to be unnecessary stress, struggle, and toxic, adversarial relations. Fellowship and collaborative gamer-thinking can be the antidote to the challenges of living in a 21st-century, social network-driven, global economy.
The creative game-thinker can pleasurably reframe their life, and get what they need as well. The end-game here is to fulfill our potential at the lowest possible cost.
What does this all mean? The person seeking to be more effective, efficient, precise, productive, content, and happy in the 21st century would be wise to understand, and embrace, Gamer-thinking.
Author: Lewis Harrison is a creative artist, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, writer, public speaker, and seminar leader. He focuses on problem-solving, self-improvement, personal development, and sharing love with the world.
“I am always exploring trends, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas, you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com.”
Learn about the Course in Applied Game Theory by Clicking Below