Cognitive boundaries


in Daily updates, Geek stuff, Oxford

Eye Boss, in a Link to the Past

Sometimes, I wonder whether I should be disturbed that there are dozens of video games I know by heart. I mean that, after not playing them for five years or more, I know exactly which block needs to be pushed, what sequence of answers needs to be given in a run of questioning. The situation is altogether uncanny: you see the little girl made of thirty pixels and you know the instant you see her that she will ask you about her cat: this in a game that you last played in your friend’s basement when you had never had a sip of beer or wine and didn’t know what continent Oxford was on. It is like some kind of insane mockery of my inability to remember the three or four main points in the forty page article that I just read.

Human brains have not evolved for this ‘unknown person 31’ said ‘position 16/34’ on ‘topic 8041D’ style of interaction with data. I would venture to say that we are better suited to the ‘if it flashes, hit it with that weapon more’ style of interaction with data.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 24, 2006 at 6:35 pm

“Sometimes, I wonder whether I should be disturbed that there are dozens of video games I know by heart.”

I wouldn’t worry about it. I still know where every one-up in Super Mario can be found, and I sometimes dream Sim City 2000.

Milan January 7, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I beat A Link to the Past for the first time as an emulated game today. Some of those dungeons were so convoluted, and some of the solutions to puzzles so unguessable, that the game could be rather frustrating at times.

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