How Rules Make Games Pleasurable and Encourage Self-Regulation

Picture a child poised excitedly at the starting line of a footrace, ready to run down the track, breathlessly awaiting the starting signal. Rather than giving in to her intense desire to leap from the starting line, she waits for the signal that the race has begun. What's going on here? Why does our player anxiously hold back when she really desires to run?

Developmental psychologist L. S. Vygotsky notes that "Play continually creates demands on the child to act against immediate impulse, i.e., to act on the line of greatest resistance."[2] Certainly the child in our example wants to begin running, but the rules of the game order her to wait. At the same time, the runner knows that the rules are artificial, describing systems that are in some way outside ordinary life. So why follow the rules? Vygotsky argues that players accept the rules of the game not in order to restrict pleasure, but instead to maximize it. "To observe the rules of the play structure promises much greater pleasure from the game than the gratification of an immediate impulse."[3] Through mechanisms of restraint and the withholding of immediate impulses, games transform the player's experience of constraint into one of abundant pleasure.


Folksonomies: games gaming self-regulation

/family and parenting/children (0.770728)
/education/homework and study tips (0.395730)

L. S. Vygotsky (0.973433 (:0.000000)), Self-Regulation Picture (0.723778 (:0.000000)), immediate impulse (0.689385 (:0.000000)), immediate impulses (0.677914 (:0.000000)), intense desire (0.670566 (:0.000000)), immediate impulse. (0.648985 (:0.000000)), abundant pleasure (0.641469 (:0.000000)), rules (0.634093 (:0.000000)), greater pleasure (0.634053 (:0.000000)), greatest resistance. (0.619115 (:0.000000)), ordinary life (0.610228 (:0.000000)), game order (0.564030 (:0.000000)), line (0.476262 (:0.000000)), child (0.442590 (:0.000000)), signal (0.407362 (:0.000000)), games (0.371895 (:0.000000)), player (0.367813 (:0.000000)), play (0.344981 (:0.000000)), footrace (0.338217 (:0.000000)), gratification (0.317278 (:0.000000)), withholding (0.307190 (:0.000000)), restraint (0.298681 (:0.000000)), demands (0.298325 (:0.000000)), track (0.290602 (:0.000000)), psychologist (0.290096 (:0.000000)), constraint (0.287645 (:0.000000)), runner (0.284694 (:0.000000)), race (0.283952 (:0.000000)), mechanisms (0.279373 (:0.000000)), example (0.278317 (:0.000000)), time (0.277066 (:0.000000)), systems (0.276622 (:0.000000)), way (0.276436 (:0.000000))

L. S. Vygotsky:Person (0.913751 (:0.000000))

Developmental psychology (0.977027): dbpedia_resource
Lev Vygotsky (0.736479): dbpedia_resource
Running (0.708276): dbpedia_resource
Play (0.687541): dbpedia_resource
English-language films (0.660392): dbpedia_resource
Pleasure (0.654999): dbpedia_resource
Psychology (0.620482): dbpedia_resource
Race (0.609934): dbpedia_resource

 Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Salen, Katie (2003925), Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, Retrieved on 2018-07-27
Folksonomies: games game design gameplay