No one likes to fail.

But when it comes to video games, kids can spend most of their time failing and still LOVE playing.

What is it about video games that keeps them optimistic in the face of failure?👇

1/ @MarkRober ran an experiment to try to answer this question.

He had 50,000 participants attempt to solve a computer programming puzzle 👾

He assigned two versions of the challenge:

2/ In one version, if participants weren’t successful, they got this message:

“That didn’t work. Please try again.”

In the other version, if participants weren’t successful, they got this message:

“That didn’t work. You lost 5 points. You now have 195 points. Please try again”

3/ Results of the experiment 📝:

For those who lost points for failed attempts, their success rate was 52%.

For those who didn’t lose points for failed attempts, their success rate was 68%.

Those who didn’t lose points had 2.5 times *more attempts* to solve the puzzle.

4/ Takeaway from this experiment:

When mistakes are not penalized, people are more likely to keep trying.

And if they keep trying, they have more chances of eventually succeeding.

Sounds straightforward, right? Yet in school we don’t operate this way.

5/ Mistakes in school are penalized.

Kids know that if they try and fail, they will get punished with a bad grade that will go on their permanent record.

No wonder they give up.

What if we reframed the learning process in a way that kids didn’t concern themselves with failure?

8/ When we frame learning challenges using The Super Mario Effect, kids actually want to engage 🤸‍♀️

It feels natural to ignore the failures and want to get up and try again and again.

As a result of constantly failing and trying, kids get really good and learn a ton.

9/ Gamification will be key to transform education.

We need to get kids excited about their own end goals, focusing less on short-term marks or grades.

We need to normalize failure.

Most of the people, products, & ideas we admire today failed painfully on their way to success.

Looking to learn more about education projects out there that gamify learning.

Drop a note if you know any!


» NextBigWhat’s #Threadmill brings you curated Twitter threads on product, life and growth.

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