Understanding Games and Gamification in Stress Management

In understanding Game Theory and creating life strategy it is important to understand that all personal development and human potential is based on the time of game you choose to play in life. If stress management seems to be your issue there are many approaches that can be ta meditationken including laughter yoga, meditation and even hypnosis. No matter what approach you choose it should be place in the contect of a life game

A game is a systematized activity, often for fun or entertainment, in which an individual, or groups of individuals, must strategize, i.e. make decisions that will lead to a desirable outcome.  You can see from this definition that one can play a game alone.  For instance, the card game Solitaire only requires one person.  An individual could play basketball, or any number of games, alone and simply compete against him or herself. Of course much of life requires that we interact with others, so this naturally leads to games that require more than one person. Many, though not all, of these games require that someone wins and someone loses.  In these games, another person (or more than one other person) can affect the outcome of the choices you make. This type of game is called a competitive game.

Most of us have been playing games since were little children and used the word “game” freely. However, if one were asked, “What is the exact definition of the word ‘game’?” most of us could not answer. Since the foundation of life games is built on definitions, defining exactly what a game is might be a good place to begin.

In order to play effectively in a game, the players need to have strategies and plans for action.  Just as the rules need to have consistency, each player of the game is likely to adopt a strategy that he or she thinks is most effective and is unlikely to radically change.  The ability of a player to create an effective, consistent strategy will be defined, in part, by his or her understanding of the rules and of the perceived strategies of the rival or opponent.

For a game to be effective, the strategies of the players must remain minimally consistent.  If there are radical changes in a game there is a great chance the game will collapse.

For example, in baseball a pitcher is expected to throw a pitch that the batter is not expecting.  However, it would be too radical a change, and an unacceptable change, for the pitcher to go on the pitcher’s mound and throw a beer bottle or a paper airplane at the batter.


A Game is Visually the Same as a Smartphone App

Many people, even the highly educated may hear the term “Game Theory” a freeze up. They fear that these are all extremely complex ideas that require an in depth understanding of mathematics and specifically statistics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Think of LHAGT as you would of a Smartphone: on the screen of the smart phone are Apps. Now an App is not the same as a game, although they may initially appear so when seen as an icon on a Smartphone, or even on a computer screen. However, a game requires strategies related to what other players may do or to changes in an environment, while most Apps are usually formal, rigid and structured. Think of a calendar App on your Smartphone, as an example. Still, when you look at a Smartphone screen and see those little icon boxes, it is easier to visualize the concept of the relationship between Apps and games. Imagine instead of Apps for weather or the Internet, you were looking at a family App, a job App, a religion App, a gender App, or a sexual orientation App.

An actual video game on a Smartphone can usually be accessed by clicking on a games App. This App is not the various games; it just stores and processes them. Thus, a game is a sub-category of an App.  An example of a rigid App might be called, “Legally Imposed Responsibilities in a Family.” Imagine an icon representing this on a Smartphone. Now, when you click on this App, various family games might appear.  In a family game for instance, there may be parents, children, grandparents, neighbors, relatives, daycare, pre-school, home school, visits to the doctor, etc., all of which require various strategies tied to priority planning, time management, etc.


Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker and life coach. He is the creator of www.AskLewis.com. He specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen, many of the great thinkers and from his personal life experiences.

Lewis will be teaching a weekend program “Make, Choices, Not Excuses” in Oneonta, New York May 3-4

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

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