The Science of Fun

On Monday I visited Brookvale Public School again to talk to the kids about science. This time, inspired by a Facebook conversation with two ex-workmates of mine, I talked about the Science of Fun, specifically what makes some games fun and what makes other games not fun. I showed the kids why Monopoly is such an awful game, and gave them plenty of examples of games which are much better and more fun. And judging by comments from the kids afterwards, I think I’ve inspired a lot of Christmas wish lists. :-)

Actual dialogue:
Me: Why do we play games? Is it to have fun?
Kids: Yes!
Me: Is it so we get bored and upset?
Kids: No!
Me: Who here has played Monopoly?
(All kids put their hands up.)
Me: Now, who here has ever played a game of Monopoly, and you started losing, and your brother or sister or mum or dad or friend was winning and taking money off you, and you felt upset and bored and wanted the game to end?
(Nearly every kid put their hand up again.)
Me: So… if Monopoly makes you upset, is it a good game?
Kids: No!!!
Me: Interesting! Now let me show you some games that are fun to play…

One Response to “The Science of Fun”

  1. Yerushalmi says:

    Starting the indoctrination early, I see ;)

    I well remember your IWC annotation about Monopoly. I obviously don’t know you personally, only that side of you that you choose to present in your writing, but this was a side I’d never seen before, and it seemed completely out of character! It was so filled with over-the-top vitriol that I was expecting there to be some twist, some joke, some last-minute reversal or major pun at the end. When there wasn’t, I was genuinely surprised and had to reread it twice to be sure I hadn’t missed something.

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