Monday, August 06, 2007


Suddenly, I've become addicted to a computer game. This is unusual for me as I'm not much into playing games on the computer. I'm as guilty as anyone for playing the occasional game of solitaire and the even more occasional game of Word Whomp. But I use these games as little treats after writing reports or blogs or whatevers on.

But this game has me really additiced.

Joe too has gotten into playing it. He's a confirmed anti-gamer with the exception of Spider Solitaire. Joe thinks that crosswords come from the 'mothership' of entertainment. He doesn't get games and thinks most of them are just silly. But there he is glued to the screen playing game after game of Bejeweled.

It's a simple minded game, you line up gems in three or more and they disappear to be replaced by others. It's not a game that requires much in the way of skills. But we're spending hours and hours playing it.

Someone said something at work the other day, and now I think I know the attraction of the game. One of the people I work with was in my office and talking about how difficult the job is, emotionally, and was recounting a story of running into the ED who made a brief comment like, "I've been getting good feedback on your work, thanks."

"That's what I needed. I didn't know it, but that's what I needed, just a little bit of praise!"

Funny that we who work in a field that believes in positive reinforcement, for them, don't practice it much with us. I'm good a self reinforcing, it's a skill I learned as a child, so I don't notice going to work day after day after day and getting pay without praise. Sure people are friendly and welcoming, but no one says much about my work - to me. Ummmm, I don't say much about their work to them. Yet I work with people who have skills I really admire.

I was thinking about this while playing Bejewelled, that way I could bill it as work time, and suddenly the game spoke to me, "Excellent" it said when a bunch of gems all exploded at one and point ranked up. I grinned, pleased with myself.

The game is 'reinforceing' me. It's giveing me praise when I play it well.

It's stupid, it's a game, but that tiny bit of praise felt good.

I know from all sorts of experience how praise, honestly given, can affect the self esteem of children, with or without disabilities. I know how praise, withheld, can damage even the best of relationships over time.

So why do I fall out of the habit or being opennly positive?

I don't know why but I did.

Who needs New Years to make a resolution?

Mine begins now.

Excellent - thanks for reading my blog, I truly appreciate it.


Anonymous said...


After a stressful hectic day - those "mindless" games provide a sort of "meditative"/"self hypnotic" state for brains which have been overstimulated, bombarded, over-taxed, over-expected, and largely taken for granted and unappreciated all the day long!

Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm not in the least bit surprised that you are addicted to a moronic game.

Now what kind of fat is it you're chewing on? Man?

Anonymous said...

I love that game too. My husband plays the sort in which you have to think quickly and make choices or you die! Too much for me, I think the jewels look pretty and I like the noises they make. I guess I just like simple, lol.


wendy said...


Excellent! Thanks for writing your blog day after day. It is a gift you give that I receive gratefully every morning before work. :-)
As to games...I've been hooked on "Brickshooter Egypt" and have wondered why. Like your game it is totally mindless...but it helps shut the brain down, too! It never tells me "Excellent" though...maybe I'm playing the wrong game!

Belinda said...

To the man who was the founder of National Praise a Staff Day a little while back. It was a great idea.

But maybe every day should be a day that we deliberately make mention of things that we see in others--staff or not--that enrich our lives or those of others. Thanks for reminding us to do that.

I remain a confirmed non-gamer though! :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Re ARRSE, you will need to be more precise how to find the thread,I cant see it. thanks.

Anonymous said...


I wanted to thank you for taking an interest in the articles by Anthony Peyton Porter. I am requesting that your letter of complaint be sent to the editor of the News and Review.

Evan Tuchinsky,
Editor, Chico News & Review
353 E. 2nd St.Chico, CA 95928

Mr. Tuchinsky informed me that he would publish any correspondance from you. I know that your response would be of great comfort to the people who have been hurt by Mr. Porters words.

Thank you again for your relentless pursuit of equally for individuals with disabilities.


Kei said...

Bejeweled is a favorite, as is Wonderlines, Glyph and Sudoku. I find they help to clear my mind, especially if I'm having trouble sleeping because of all the things my brain won't let go of.

Anonymous said...

Judging by one of the comments posted above, you've been invited to complain to the editor at Chico News And Review about something written by Anthony Porter. I wonder what and why and when, but i don't care. It used to be a free country, and writing angry letters to the editor is one of the few outlets we have left, even if most never get printed on actual paper, only magically turned into images on a screen, like this.
As a long-time admirer of Mr. Porter's well-crafted writing, which ranges from subtle to outrageous but nearly always has some tinge of irony to it, I shall be sure to also write to said editor, backing up Mr.Porter for whatever imagined sins are charged against him. He may be trying to get people to think . . . although that certainly skirts on the edge of subversiveness.