Learn the rules of the game to win

Playing games is fun and it is easy to get caught up simply in playing, however it is important to realize that there can be there playing for enjoyment and playing to win, while these are not always separate there can be some difference in functions.

Thinking about the rules and the functions make a big difference in being able to win. Think of how you play games. When I look at myself, I naturally have  builder mindset who likes cool things, and while that may work for some games it is much more effective to try and understand the rules and get a sense of how to exploit them. You need to think about the victory conditions and overall success.

Think of these common games

Chess – Victory condition is Checkmate, the false measure of success is how many of your opponents pieces you captured. If you read the Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, you see he learned to focus on the end game first which allowed him to focus on the pure victory condition of checkmate, and understanding that allowed him to see all actions to achieve that goal.

Poker – Victory condition is to win the most money, a false measure is how many hands you win, which makes you feel good but there can be a huge impact from one hand. Try to play the hands to win big.

Understanding the rules can give you a deeper understanding of the game and greater enjoyment.

Also taking the time to focus on the rules, you can better understand the mechanism of action and see how surface interactions relate to a deeper world. If you get good at understanding a game from explicit rules you can then get an understanding of implicit rules in the world and life and have a leg up on how to achieve your goals.


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