SUPER MARIO AND INNOVATION. I have often remarked to the kids that their video games taught them very important lessons about how to think—how to learn by trial and error. When Super Mario entered a room, there were rewards for trying everything, and the kids learned to be bold in their attempts. In contrast, when I am at the computer, I am always afraid that I will hit the wrong button, and blow up the computer and possibly destroy the power grid East of the Mississippi. I just discussed this with Nick. He said that the designers of Super Mario liked to hide goodies, and so there was always an incentive to smash things to see if there was a hidden goody. He also pointed out that Everquest rewarded exploration indirectly through increasing your experience and that in World of Warcraft, there were direct rewards for exploring the world that the designers had created. In the time that the next generations spent playing their videogames, they were learning to be creative and innovative.

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