Intellectual Headaches

Game design

They got the key, and then some other stuff happened, and then they reached the door, and were able to open it; but “acquiring the key” and “opening the door” were stored as two separate, disconnected events in the player’s mind.

If the player had encountered the locked door first, tried to open it, been unable to, and then found the key and used it to open the door, the causal link would be unmistakable. You use the key to open the locked door, because you can’t open the locked door without the key.

Math education

I’ve drawn parallels between game design and education before, but it still took me a while to realize that problem-solution ordering issues crop up just as often in the classroom as they do in games.

Remember how, in high school math class, a lot of the work you were doing felt really, really pointless?

Consider Dan Meyer’s question for math educators: if math is the aspirin, then how do you create the headache?

In other words: if you introduce the solution (in this case, a new kind of math) before introducing the kind of problems that it’s meant to solve, the solution is likely to come across as pointless and arbitrary. But if you first let students try to tackle these problems with the math they already understand, they’re likely to come away with a kind of intellectual “headache” – and, therefore, to better understand the purpose of the “aspirin” you’re trying to sell.

Functional programming

— Locked doors, headaches, and intellectual need

— 27 October 2015

— Affording Play

Here are some excerpts of an elegant essay. Please go to the author’s website to read the whole.

— Me@2015-11-03 03:46:41 PM

2015.11.03 Tuesday ACHK