We know when we’re playing a game that we’re actually happier working hard than we are relaxing or hanging out. We know that we’re optimized as human beings to do hard meaningful work. And gamers are willing to work hard all the time if they’re given the right work.
Elsewhere, happiness studies in the most recent New Yorker reveal that what we think makes us happy, often, does not:
It’s not just hitting the jackpot that fails to lift spirits; a whole range of activities that people tend to think will make them happy — getting a raise, moving to California, having kids — do not, it turns out, have that effect. (Studies have shown that women find caring for their children less pleasurable than napping or jogging and only slightly more satisfying than doing the dishes.) As the happiness researchers Tim Wilson and Daniel Gilbert have put it, “People routinely mispredict how much pleasure or displeasure future events will bring.”
“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background,” wrote Jan Tschichold in 1930. And just as you cannot ignore white space, you cannot ignore silence, as it’s the white space of conversations.
We get anxious about silence. It connotes issues. Stress. Awkwardness….