31 July, 2006

'The Seduction of Learning' by Sam Grumont (I & E Cluster Co-ordinator)

Hi chess aficionados,
I wandered into an interesting site which talks about the arousal the competing in the game can give to the brain - cognitive arousal is the buzz word to give you some afflatus:

'Is Sudoku seductive? Is chess sexy? Is crafting code a turn-on? To our brains, absolutely. But while most of us don't use the word "seductive" in non-sexual contexts, good game designers do. They know what turns your brain on, and they're not afraid to use it. They're experts at the art of "cognitive arousal", and if we're trying to design better experiences for our users, we should be too.

I'm not talking about using sex to arouse your brain. I'm talking about the kind of "experiential pleasure" that comes from solving a puzzle, overcoming a challenge, exploring new territory, becoming swept up in a narrative, interacting with others in a social framework, and discovering something new about yourself. I'm talking about things that engage the brain in a way that Gregory Bateson describes in The Ecology of Mind, discussing games:

"... they are important emotions that we feel and go through and enjoy and find in some mysterious ways to enlarge our spirit."'

Want more then try


Sam g said...

The Drosophila of Cognitive Science

I came across a fascinating article in Scientific American which begins with an anecdote about José Raúl Capablanca of Cuba,who won 168 games in a row.
How did he play so well, so quickly? And how far ahead could he calculate under such constraints? "I see only one move ahead," Capablanca is said to have answered, "but it is always the correct one."

"The collected results of a century of such research have led to new theories explaining how the mind organizes and retrieves information. What is more, this research may have important implications for educators. Perhaps the same techniques used by chess players to hone their skills could be applied in the classroom to teach reading, writing and arithmetic."

The article is The Expert Mind by Phillip Ross in July 26 2006 of The Scientific American. It can be found at

Anonymous said...

chess is cool becouse it makes me think about were im going to move

dylan said...

chess is cool becouse it makes me think about were im going to move

chewton p.s said...

I like chess because we have a awesome as teacher call harry. He comes to chewton p.s every fortnight, he comes to help us learn chess and helps us to make good strategies and cancellation. From chewton P.S we like to thank all of the chess teachers around victora!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi am cassandra i go to chewton primary school i learn chess with harry and my teachers are jacky (student teacher) mr mac (6 teacher) becky (prep teacher (pregnant) mrs t (345 teacher)
seah now
kind regrades

glen said...

I like chess becouse it is one of the funnest games EVER! It takes a lot of talent to play chess. We are playing chess at school with Harry Poulton.

rob c said...

passionate users is the coolest blog
she writes programming books, using learning theory; better and more passionate grasp than most of us teachers

eg see here