Anyone who regularly plays mobile games on their phones (such as Candy Crush) knows that they can get really addictive. It should be no surprise that they are designed this way. A few of the tactics are as follows:
- Regular (though ultimately meaningless) positive reinforcements
- The illusion of progress (despite the fact that there is no end)
- They create just enough anticipation to keep you eager with enough pay off to keep you engaged.
In the end, they just consume your time (and money, for those who pay to play). Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy some of these games too. But we should at least be honest about how they work.
Now, to be clear, this post is not really about mobile games. Rather, it’s about life. How many of us are living our lives following the same patterns? Being placated by valueless positive reinforcements? Moving day to day as though towards some rewarding end that isn’t likely coming?
Living with enough anticipation of what might be that we keep doing the same things over and over, yet enough “success” not to question the assumptions? I know that I’ve fallen prey to it.
- What would it take to disrupt this pattern?
- What would it mean for YOU to recognize that the future you want won’t just happen to you and will require intentionality, perseverance, and sacrifice?
- What will you have to give up to make that happen?
(Hint: It might include, but is likely to be far more than, mobile gaming).
I’d like to hear from you on these questions. Fire away!