Cool article in Wired about the community of young gamer boys who do extensive research on how to crack the patterns of video games (or whatever the kids are calling them these days). They're using the scientific method in their analysis - combing data in spreadsheets, introducing new data sets, and reviewing the predictive ability of their models. The irony is, these same boys are sluggish when it comes to science in school:
One of the reasons kids get bored by science is that too many teachers present it as a fusty collection of facts for memorization. This is precisely wrong. Science isn't about facts. It's about the quest for facts -- the scientific method, the process by which we hash through confusing thickets of ignorance. It's dynamic, argumentative, collaborative, competitive, filled with flashes of crazy excitement and hours of drudgework, and driven by ego: Our desire to be the one who figures it out, at least for now. It's dramatic and nutty and fun.I really like this description, it reminded me of the process of writing music. It's often painful, but the moments of discovery are always worth it. The key as he says above, is about having the motivation (or even better, obsession) to power through the predominantly frustrating phases.
Man, my aggregate knowledge of all things gaming could fit onto a Commodore 64 floppy disk. Given the advances in the field, I'm starting to realize that may have to change soon...