From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

18 apr. 2010

The goal of having fun

You can enjoy a beautiful landscape or a hot bath. Those are pleasures and delights for your sole, but you are not having fun. Fun, I’d say, always includes some sort of challenge.

I’d say that the core loop of fun is to be challenged in some form. Either you get inspired by seeing someone else doing something, or you have a mission – to collect all caps, to win, to get a laugh when delivering a joke etc.

When performing the challenge you improve in some way. You learn, achieve, fulfill, complete, understand or master something. The act of performing makes you hopefully better, at least you aim for improving.

An evident part of the loop that must complement the challenge and the improvement is the response. You need someone (or something) to acknowledge your effort. You get higher status, admiration, friend requests, awards, feedback, comments, fame etc. It is fun to start a mission and it is fun to act on it, but it is ever so much more fun to get the response. Hopefully the feedback is what you aimed for, but if it is not – you’re challenged again. You must improve. To get the wanted response.

And the feeling that you achieve from having fun is – empowering. An empowering job is a fun job, an empowering game is a fun game and an empowering night out was a fun night. (Not so sure that an empowering book must be a fun book though. I’ll have to think about it.)

The thing I wanted the most when I was young was to be seen and acknowledge. No wonder - it's empowering.

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