People have been playing games of one sort or another since the beginning of the species. As our technology advances, one of the first things that we do with that technology is to figure out new ways of adapting in order to play more games. The video gaming industry makes more money than the movie industry.
What is it about games – simple or complex – that appeals to us so? Why do people like games?
Related questions: Why do people like what they like? Do video games make us more or less violent? How are board games and card games like (and different from) video games?
2 thoughts on “Why Do People Like Games?”
I suspect that our love of games comes from our history as hunter-gatherers. In order to survive as a hunter, you had to find game to eat. Determining where the game was is like a puzzle. Start near the watering hole, follow the tracks, wait until a certain hour of the day, find the perfect spot to launch an attack, etc.
Now, we don’t need to go through all that in order to get food, but the mechanisms are hard-wired in our brain to reward that behavior. Solving a puzzle or succeeding in a game gives a rush of endorphins.
That same reward system has also allowed us to learn things about our environment, from probing the depths of the cosmos, to learning how our own bodies work, to solving abstract mathematical problems. It has allowed us to shape our world and our place in it.
Where did the word “game” come from?