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The Role of Dopamine and Gaming

Games have a positive and a negative experience at the same time.

During playing a game the primary chemical in your brain affected is dopamine. When we accomplish a task in a game it releases a hit of dopamine, this is the chemical that makes us feel good. The same chemical released when you finish a task in real life, eat food, have sex or engage in any activity you enjoy. Some drugs are addictive because they release this chemical.

Games like Candy Crush and others learned to “Hijack” the reward part of your brain. When you accomplish these small tasks of lining up crystals, it releases this dopamine in your brain. Making you happy and feel good. This makes you feel like you achieved something. The more you achieve, the more dopamine your brain gets. This can have an addictive effect and be quite fun.

However it’s not all bad as it sounds. Games also increase memory, learning, reflexes, hand eye coordination and even have a social effect if played online with friends. Some people prefer to interact this way. Stimulation of the brain in such a fast way helps the brain learn quickly and has even shown to reduce dementia and other aging brain diseases in older people. If grandma is playing games, she’ll feel younger for longer!

Game Designers can take advantage of this by whats known as the “addictive” quality. By using random chance chests in games that grant a reward. The harder you work for that chest, the more dopamine is released. Gambling also releases dopamine when a randomized system is added to game items.

However you don’t want the player working too hard, or the stress and frustration will offset the reward factor. It needs to be challenging enough to entice reward, but not enough to make someone push the problem away.

Overall the effect of video games can be addictive, but it is not dangerous or harmful in any way and can even be beneficial.

Leave a comment Posted in Game Making Theory by Eggy on

Try Not to Burn Yourself Out

When you're working long hours at the computer like I do, it's very easy to burn yourself out. I do it very often by accident. You get to that point where every task seems like a huge burden, where my programming starts to look like hieroglyphics. You need to take breaks often without getting too distracted which is easier said than done.

Sometimes I go the other direction, I take a break and go on Facebook and next minute I've been there for almost 2 hours and wasted too much time. You need some sort of designated break that allows you to refresh but also not distract you for too long. I personally use the game Counter-Strike to destress and shoot some people. The good thing is one game lasts around 45mins, so once the games over I get back to work. 

Caffiene seems like a good choice at first but beware it's a double edged sword. I found it works at the end when you want to cram in last minute changes but it's not so good when used everyday because it leads to longer fatigue I've found. You also can get quite jittery. 

Remember to pace yourself, don't feel stressed that you have to finish all your computer work at once. Sometimes it becomes counter-productive to force yourself to keep going and you will start to make mistakes.

Leave a comment Posted in Health by Eggy on

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***

Here are the amazing tips from the book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***"

  • Conventional self-help advice which tells you to visualize success and think about the type of person you want to be only reinforces the idea that you are not that thing.
  • Everyone wants you to believe that the secret to a good life is to have a nicer job or a better car or a prettier girlfriend.
  • The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.
  • We are no longer facing a material crisis. We have plenty of resources: TVs and clothes and goods that we don’t need. The problem we face is existential and spiritual. We have so much stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t know what to give a fuck about anymore.
  • Because there’s an infinite amount of things we can now see or know, there are also an infinite number of ways we can discover that we don’t measure up, that we’re not good enough, that things aren’t as great as they could be.
  • The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.
  • Pursuing something only reinforces that you lack it in the first place.
  • Accepting your experience of life as being great and wonderful is the single greatest thing you can do for your happiness.
  • “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” -Albert Camus
  • Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.
  • If you are able to not give a fuck about the pain your goals require, then you become unstoppable.
  • The moments when we don’t give a fuck and take action are often the moments that most define the course of our lives.
  • You are going to die someday. Everyone you know is going to die soon. And in your short life you only have a certain amount of fucks to give.
  • Learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively based on finely honed personal values is perhaps the greatest and most important struggle in life.
  • Subtlety #1: Not giving a fuck is not about being indifferent. It just means you’re comfortable with being different. Don’t say fuck it to everything in life, just to the unimportant things.
  • Subtlety #2: To not give a fuck about adversity, you must first care about something more important than adversity.
  • Subtlety #3: Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about. The key is to gradually prune the things you care about, so that you only give a fuck on the most important of occasions.
  • When a person has no problems, the mind automatically finds a way to invent some.
  • I think what most people — especially educated, pampered middle-class white people — consider “life problems” are really just side effects of not having anything more important to worry about.
  • Finding something important and meaningful in your life is perhaps the most productive use of your time and energy.
  • It’s okay for things to suck some of the time.
  • Practical enlightenment is the act of becoming comfortable with the idea that some suffering is always inevitable.
  • There is no value in suffering when it is done without purpose.
  • Don't hope for a life without problems. Hope for a life with good problems.
  • Problems never stop. They merely get exchanged or upgraded.
  • Happiness is found in solving problems, not avoiding them.
  • True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving. Happiness is wanting the problems you have and wanting to solve them.
  • Emotions are simply biological signals designed to nudge you in the direction of beneficial change.
  • Negative emotions are a sign that something is going unaddressed. They are a call to action. Positive emotions are the reward for taking the correct action.
  • We should question our emotions because they are not always right.
  • Don’t ask yourself what you want out of life. It’s easy to want success and fame and happiness and great sex. Everybody wants those things. A much more interesting question to ask yourself is, “What kind of pain do I want?” What you are willing to struggle for is a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.
  • You can’t merely be in love with the result. Everybody loves the result. You have to love the process.
  • The climb to the top is a never-ending upward spiral with new problems always surfacing and new processes that you must fall in love with. You are never allowed to stop climbing because the entire point is to love the climb. If you ever stop loving the climb, the results will never come.
  • Self-esteem, by itself, is overrated. It doesn’t help to feel good about yourself unless you have a good reason for feeling that way. The struggle makes self-esteem useful, not the participation trophy.
  • Your problems are not privileged in their severity or pain. You are not unique in your suffering.
  • The more exposed we are to opposing viewpoints, the more we seem to get upset that those other viewpoints exist. This seems like a logical trend to me because before the internet and our hyper-connected modern world, people didn’t have as much likelihood of running into ideas that disagreed with their own. Today, alternate ideas are far more likely to cross your radar screen.
  • Most of us are pretty average at most things we do. Even if you’re exceptional at one thing, chances are you’re average or below average at most other things.
  • Our lives today are filled with information from the extremes of the bell curve of human experience. The best of the best, worst of the worst, and most upsetting of the upsetting. We only see the most exceptional news stories because that’s what drives revenue. This is a real problem when it comes to comparison because you can only be exceptional in one thing thing and you’re going to be below average in nearly everything else. That makes comparison a very dangerous game to play.
  • The problem is that the pervasiveness of technology and mass marketing is screwing up a lot of people’s expectations for themselves.
  • One of the most pervasive narratives about masculinity in our culture is that the most valuable thing a man can attain is sex and it’s worth sacrificing nearly anything to get it. (Interestingly, this corresponds to one of the dominant female narratives, which is that the greatest thing a woman can be is beautiful.)
  • People who are exceptional become that way by thinking they are average and focusing on improvement. You don’t become exceptional by believing you are exceptional.
  • The more uncomfortable the answer, the more likely it is to be true.
  • Problems are inevitable, but what they mean is flexible. We get to control what our problems mean to us based on how we choose to think about them and how we choose to measure them. The way we measure success influences how we view the problems we face.
  • “Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed. Pleasure is the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the easiest to obtain and the easiest to lose.”
  • People who base their self-worth on being right about everything prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes.
  • “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” -Sigmund Freud
  • People who are terrified of what others think about them are actually terrified of all the negative things they think about themselves being reflected back at them.
  • When we feel that we’re choosing our problems, we feel empowered. When we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable.
  • We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.
  • Accepting responsibility for our problems is the first step to solving them.
  • A lot of people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems because they believe that to be responsible for your problems is also to be at fault for your problems. This is not true. We are responsible for experiences that aren’t our fault all the time. This is part of life.
  • People will often fight over who gets to be responsible for successful and happiness. But taking responsibility for our problems is far more important because that’s where real learning comes from.
  • Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. We shouldn’t seek to find the ultimate “right” answer for ourselves, but rather, we should seek to chip away at the ways that we’re wrong today so that we can be a little less wrong tomorrow.
  • Certainty is the enemy of growth.
  • All beliefs are wrong—some are just less wrong than others.
  • Counterintuitive insight by Baumeister regarding evil: some of the worst criminals often felt good about themselves. Low self-esteem was not always associated with evil acts.
  • The more you try to become certain about a particular issue, the more uncertain and insecure you will feel.
  • The more you embrace being uncertain and not knowing, the more comfortable you will feel in knowing what you don’t know.
  • The man who believes he knows everything learns nothing.
  • Manson’s Law of Avoidance: The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it. The more something threatens how you view yourself, the more you will avoid getting around to doing it.
  • If I believe I’m a nice guy, I’ll avoid situations that could potentially contradict that belief. If I believe I’m an awesome cook, I’ll seek out opportunities to prove that to myself over and over again. The belief always takes precedence.
  • Manson’s idea of “kill yourself” is similar to Paul Graham’s idea of “keep your identity small.” The central point is that if you don’t have an identity to protect, then change becomes much easier.
  • For any change to happen in your life, you must accept that you were wrong about something you were doing before.
  • “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle
  • If it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really just you versus yourself.
  • The magnitude of your success is tied to how many times you’ve failed at that thing.
  • Goals are limited in the amount of happiness they can provide in our lives because they are finite. Once you achieve the goal, it can no longer provide happiness because the finish line has been crossed. Paradoxically, then, by choosing processes as your focus, you can increase your overall, lifelong happiness by focusing on the process and not the goal. Processes never end, which means happiness can continue indefinitely.
  • Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it. Do something and inspiration will follow.
  • How do you write a tons of books? Write “200 crappy words per day” and you’ll find motivation often flows out of you.
  • Manson’s “do something” principle sounds a lot like the philosophy behind the 2-minute rule. Do something now, even if it’s really small, and let good actions cascade as a result.
  • To truly appreciate something, you must confine yourself to it. There’s a certain level of joy and meaning that you reach in life only when you’ve spent decades investing in a single relationship, a single craft, a single career. And you cannot achieve those decades of investment without rejecting the alternatives.
  • The mark of an unhealthy relationship is when two people try to solve each other’s problems in order to feel good about themselves.
  • Trust is the most important ingredient in any relationship for the simple reason that without trust the relationship doesn’t actually mean anything.
  • Investing deeply in one person, one place, one job, one activity might deny us the breadth of experience we’d like, but pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to enjoy the rewards of depth of experience.
  • Commitment, in its own way, offers a wealth of opportunity and experiences that would never otherwise be available to you, no matter how many surface level experiences you pursued.
  • Rejection of alternatives liberates us. In a strange way, commitment to one thing offers more freedom than anything else because it relieves you of all the second guessing about what else is out there.
  • If there is no reason to do anything, if life is pointless, then there is also no reason to not do anything. What do you have to lose? You’re going to die anyway, so your fears and embarrassments and failures don’t mean anything. You might as well try.
  • All of the meaning in our life is shaped by our innate desire to never truly die. Our physical bodies will die, but we cling to the idea that we can live on through religion, politics, sports, art, and technological innovation.
  • The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself, to contribute to some much larger entity.
  • It is the act of choosing your values and living by them that makes you great, not any outcome or accomplishment.
  • “We’re all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t.” -Charles Bukowski

Leave a comment Posted in Life by Eggy on

Struggling for Game Ideas? Here a Tip

Struggling for game ideas? Have you been slaving over ideas non-stop trying to come up with a big hit before you even open your game making program? Well sometimes the answer isn't in planning but rather development and living your life. 

A common mistake I find is people get hung up on the idea phase thinking they need to be a creative genius to come up with the next big hit. Even though it does help to have a great idea, sometimes you don't need to have a huge thought out plan, but rather keep adding onto a basic idea as you continue forwards. 

Lets take a platformer for example, you decided lets make a platformer as you go through the process adding in your character, adding in backgrounds and art, and adding in your programming you may find an idea develops as you go. Sometimes glitches can be used to your advantage. Is your character going through walls? no problem lets say that certain walls can be passed through. Now we have an idea for a game where the character can bend matter and go through it. Then we add a timer so he has to use it wisely. If it runs out inside a wall? well bam he explodes. 

As you can see we took a very simple glitch and turned it into an idea.
Sometimes let your brain follow its natural thought process and it will give you a brainstorm of ideas without you trying. If you sit there with a blank piece of paper you won't be able to think of much because your brain requires stimulation. It requires input to give output. The more you can make, the more games you play, the more art you experience, the more your brain can create new offshoots from these inspirations. Give your brain as much stimulation as possible and you will find ideas come to you rather than having to force them out.


Leave a comment Posted in Game Making Theory by Eggy on