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GDC2011 This is your brain on game dev

This is your brain on game development
Crabtreesbrain@gmail.com
Twitter/@scottcrab


Many books, just a few with good science on psychology of happiness and productivity

Manage your mind for better results, 3 steps
Logic just part of picture
Manage stress
Work for happiness

----logic is just part of the picture
We focus too much on logic and prefrontal cortex, very small part of brain and tires
Small, logical prefrontal cortex can't multitasking. Multitasking drops iq by 10 points and increases errors, about 15 for men, 5 for women
Task switching expensive for computers, people too
Not really multitasking, fast task switching
Lessens ability to filter extraneous data, separate unimportant from important

Conscious thinking is limited resource, prioritize prioritization, keep it simple, and help with visuals and lists
Important-Do it when you are fresh, not necessarily first thing in morning

To get insights from some parts of brains, you have to quiet other parts, perhaps with mindfulness meditation
Insights come better when you are peaceful and happy

Summary
Conscious thinking is limited - prioritize prioritizing and don't multitask
Help your brain with visuals and lists
Insight comes when conscious thinking pauses



20 minutes to get into flow, 2 minutes to get out of it

-----manage stress
does not mean eliminating, need the right amount of "eustress" to be most effective
Low stress, boredom, depression - area of optimal stress challenge - high stress bell curve 
Fight, flight, freeze response is bad for brain function
We are wired to cooperate with each other, empathize
We are wired to view the world as "us" and "them"
The happier you are, the bigger your circle of "us"
Happier people are less socially biased
Label and reappraise (don't suppress) negative emotions to manage them
-if your opinion isn't heard you get more stressed about it, brain same way
Exercise eases stress and improves thinking

Summary
Excess stress is bad for brain function
Mitigate stress with reappraisal and relaxation
Exercise to manage stress & boost your brain


Doodling can help retain more, requires no thinking
Anything that can be automated and doesn't require conscious thought can help conscious thought

--work for happiness
Happier people are more productive, sociable, cooperative, creative, resilient, successful, and engaged
Happier are healthier and live longer
Widens the scope of attention
Increases behavior repertoires

Largely determined by set point, but also intentional behavior
50 genetic, 40 intentional, 10 circumstance

How
1 Flow toward goals
2 strive to maintain a positive Attitude
3 invest

Set goals that are important to you, measure progress toward those goals
Different brains have different strengths, learn and use yours
Michael Jordan didn't try to improve in baseball, did his strength at basketball
Spend time on strengths, not always focus on improving weaknesses
"strengths finder 2.0" "go put your strengths to work"  - books
Get into flow - pie graph
Get into challenge at right level for you and stay focused

Attitude is as important as it is cliche, nurture optimism and positivity
Write down positives, will make you happier
Best teams have positive to negative comments ratio of > 5:1
Tipping point is about 3:1
moves team from minimize risk to maximize reward
Feedback sandwich, positive comment, negative, positive
Too much is a bad thing, feels fake, > 20 to 1

Invest in people and relationships - It will boost your network, coping ability, and happiness
Happiness is contagious
Express gratitude, makes you and them happier
Happiness outside work will make you happier at work too
Exercise, smile, relax, meditate, focus on present

It takes knowledge, subtlety, and support, and persistance

--Tom Ogburn

posted on Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:29 AM by TOgburn

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