Caring About Literally Anything
Last Updated: 2019-08-08 18:04

I have this gut feeling that games should have some degree of depth to them. There should be lots of options, menus, customization, and variety. When I click a button, it'd better to be to put forth an order, which has effects which resound. Or, at least that's what I used to think. As a result, I would always be quite confused by mobile games, for example, which would have only a few moving pieces.

"Surely," I thought, "no one would find themselves entranced by just clicking these little buttons, right? You need something bigger, something with a larger feeling of grandeur, in order to make it worth your time."

And, yeah, I was totally wrong.

It turns out that you can get human brains to care about literally anything. The part of our brain searching for reinforcement can apparently be hacked to derive pleasure from basically anything. I've since found myself sucked into things like clicker games, where you literally become an optimizer, striving to pursue upgrades to make a fricking number get higher.

But it's not exactly just that I'm amazed at what sort of small things can capture our attention. It's more like, the sensation of chasing after one of these frivolous goals feels basically identical to chasing after any other goal. Striving to try and get another coin in whatever small game you're playing on your phone feels just like trying to try out a new recipie for making pie. Okay, that's probably not a good analogy, but whatever.

The point being that, if at any point, you find yourself wondering exactly how in the world X could command someone's attention, you would do well to remember that we're really good at becoming obsessed with chasing after even the smallest things.

One good thing about this is that you can probably get yourself to become interested in anything.

One bad thing about this is you can probably get anyone to become interested in anything.