Feed Login

Small Wins and Atomic Habits in Video Games 2020-12-28 18:53:39

I think that video games make the prime example of effectively designing for small wins.

Video Games are so effective in this that they can take someone unable to manage simple things in life -- cooking, cleaning, etc -- and transform them into a dedicated, effective human-- in the scope of the video game itself of course. 

How can someone too depressed to take care laundry for example somehow become galvanized  to consistently pour hours into not only beating a video game but accomplish bonus tasks? How can someone who might have their baseline needs met but desires to practice making music using Ableton struggle to dedicate barely three hours a week into the music while sliding so easily into 20 hours of video games?

The concept of atomic habits and small wins has taken the internet by storm largely thanks to James Clear and his followers. Main premise is that we focus too much on large goals rather than the atomic habits that would lead to such goals. Because we focus on larger goals we're unable to become the person who can actually achieve those goals and we give up too fast.

The people who somehow do achieve extraordinary things -- the people we admire -- somehow have had an upbringing and training of small wins that reinforced a patchwork of habits that now generate large win after large win.

I think when designing any system, it's useful to view video games. It allows you to compare your design -- probably doesn't have small wins and instead forces stakeholders to swallow large goals -- to an exemplar rich in feeding its consumer small wins. 

I used to look at video games as an all bad thing. A waste of time. But now I think it's a great study on small wins and atomic habits. But I probably will remain an observer rather than a partaker of video game induced small wins mainly because of how prone to addiction I am.

More from Abraham Kim