Look within and look around. You are not lost.
The human brain has a limited bandwidth. We can only actively process a narrow amount of information at any given time. So in order to manage that, we organize our memories and perceptions into “chunks.”
In fact, people generally never see reality as it is, any given situation as it factually is, especially not in detail, because we learn to chunk information in order to function efficiently. What we perceive is a familiar pattern. We react not to what is going on, but instead to what we recognize and remember, and then respond to it on a sort of autopilot. This tends to “grind us down.” We lose energy or enthusiasm.
We instinctively look for the novel despite structuring everything in as familiar a pattern as we can. The reason we look for the novel is it has the potential for reward. We literally feel rewarded by seeing or experiencing the new, like hunting let’s say. We have a drive to find new food and resources. New things mean future growth. No new things mean stagnation or even starvation.
In our modern world, how much is genuinely new? Instead of genuine novelty we have fads. We even say, the old is new again, or doing remakes of movies. People easily and rapidly consume the familiar. It’s easier, takes less energy, requires less of us mentally or emotionally. How well, though, do these things support or satisfy our needs?
Perhaps that’s what technology companies are capitalizing on with the next product version that’s always coming.
The unknown scares some people. Actually, it scares many people. They fear being unprepared. It’s just the degree of anxiety that differs.
So, how do we know something is fun?
We want to keep doing it.
Being unready feels threatening unless we have some support system we trust. This is why we more easily have fun with friends.
I resisted trying Second Life until a friend did it with me. I think you had to give personal information back then.
I resisted Second Life, too. I didn’t think I liked computer games. Second Life is very special in the domain of computer games.
Many things are fun at first and then get boring. But other things have a lasting fun factor. Why is that?
There are always new facets to learn or perfect on. We want to be consistently engaged, which means we have to be able to reach some measure of mastery.
The thing is familiar and the “same”, but different enough to remain interesting. You put it perfectly. We want to feel alive, and thus we want our activity to feel alive. Second Life has that.
Yes, sometimes we’ll try a brand new thing and it’s terrifying but it becomes fun once we’ve mastered it some, like Second Life.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.