Have you ever got hooked on a video game? Maybe you spent an entire weekend trying to get past a single obstacle. Maybe you had a contest going with your friends to see who could complete a certain level first or beat the game. Thinking back, can you remember the exact number of failures you endured? How many times did you suffer a crushing defeat from a boss? How much time did you spend improving your skills so you could conquer the game’s last level? Whether it was Candy Crush, Pitfall, Bejeweled, Super Mario Bros., or Tomb Raider, you probably just kept on–ignoring your failures until you met your goal. What if you could do that in real life?
Learning by Gamification
As you’ll discover in the Ted Talk shared here, there has been some research about how we learn. According to an experiment outlined in this video, participants learned more when they were not penalized and felt they had plenty of time to focus on the goal at hand in order to achieve success. In Fortnite, how many times did the ‘storm’ get you before you figured out how much time you actually needed to reach safety? By focusing on the goal of ‘winning,’ you were able to learn from your earlier mistakes. Moreover, you probably didn’t worry about those past mistakes because you were focused on winning.
Did you ever think about tricking your brain to do the same thing in life? Do you know you can apply some of the same principles of learning via gaming in order to achieve real-life goals too? People enjoy gaming or they wouldn’t do it. It’d be a chore. Winning is fun even if it means you have to suffer through a few or several hundred attempts to complete a challenge. If you could apply the same goal-oriented behaviors to work tasks or other life challenges, you might find that you focus on what you learn from a loss instead of dwelling on the failure. You can apply that learning to your next attempt.
Schools Do It Too
These days, schools know full well that kids have their minds on video games. That’s why many teachers are introducing a gaming element into their classrooms via various digital media. Sometimes there’s a time element; kids have to complete so many math problems in a certain period of time to beat a level. Sometimes it’s a spelling game or a memory game. The fact is, our brains respond well to games. When we are able to combine learning and gamification, the result is often a more enjoyable learning experience.
What if you just frame the learning process in such a way that you did not concern yourself with failure, how much more successful could you be, how much more could you learn?
Learning as an Adult
You might be wondering, how can you gamify your next work project? Maybe you have sales goals to hit. How can you make the type of learning you need to achieve into a game? Moreover, maybe you’re an adult who never got into video games. Maybe you played cards or board games instead. For you, you might think less about gamification and more about behaviors focused on the end result rather than the obstacles in your path.
In the video, the speaker discusses his son–how as a toddler he kept getting up after falling down, determined to walk. One day, he did it. It’s something most of us did at one point in our early childhood. We didn’t dwell on setbacks. Sure–the floor probably hurt, but we kept trying–and the reward was getting up on two feet to explore our world. You can apply that lesson to your life–to your learning process and upcoming goals.
The video features some enlightening lessons about how we learn best. Tricking our brains into learning isn’t gimmicky; there’s a body of proof that suggests it works. When you are able to focus on the goal and refuse to be bogged down by failure–refuse to be embarrassed by it or put off from your task–you will discover that your learning process is enhanced and your success rate improves.