People Play Games in Ways We May Not Anticipate

Sometime back I had recommended Spryfox’s Alphabear to a coworker.

Yesterday he told me that his children love the game. Apparently they get 30 minutes of screen time, and instead of coding, they now play the word game.

He told me that it is very educational, and his son especially seems to be expanding his vocabulary by randomly picking letters until the game accepts a word as an input.

Now, I’ll admit, especially on the timed levels, I have also picked random letters if I’ve been stuck, but here was someone using it as his main strategy. He doesn’t need to know many long words because the game allows him to explore what’s possible on his own.

Maybe a player takes a strategy game and continually pauses it to make tactical decisions, effectively turning a real-time game into a pseudo-turn-based one.

Perhaps someone figures out how to use rockets to jump farther or higher in Marathon or does infinite bomb jumps in Super Metroid.

Or in this case, instead of someone using their extensive knowledge of obscure words to play a word game, they let the game teach them some.

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