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Subject: Games that teach delayed gratification rss

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Daniel Ajoy
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Many of you have probably seen the video where kids are presented with a marshmallow and told that if they wait 10min without eating it they will get another one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EjJsPylEOY

Are there games that teach delayed gratification? Which are the simplest to teach to kids?
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Daniel Chen
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hahaha, if you know, maybe it can teach delayed gratification to many of us geeks (in terms of buying new games).
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Curt Carpenter
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That's actually a really good question. I think many games CAN teach this, but it might take a teacher to point it out. Especially any game with spendable resources where you don't want to blow the wad early. Simple to teach kids is a tougher issue. Depends on the ages, of course.

Off the top of my head:
For Sale
High Society

Which are somewhat similar is flavors of auction games.

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James King
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DanielAjoy wrote:
Many of you have probably seen the video where kids are presented with a marshmallow and told that if they wait 10min without eating it they will get another one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EjJsPylEOY

Are there games that teach delayed gratification? Which are the simplest to teach to kids?

Aren't there already enough gamers who delay gratification for themselves and everybody else because of their extended bouts of analysis paralysis?


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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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This is a very good question, because there is statistical evidence of a correlation between delayed gratification in 4 year olds and their outcomes in later life (academic levels, drug abuse and so on). And it is possible for children to learn delay techniques in the face of temptation, such as self-distraction.

A lot of modern games will teach cost benefit analysis and opportunity cost, but I'm not sure that that's the same as delayed gratification. Games like Diamant can reward the risk-taker, but can also punish them. I wonder if delayed gratification in a children's game would work as a game mechanic.

It is a good question and worthy of more thought.
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Oh and the text on the youtube item is misleading. They were just doing all sorts of tests and this one was one of many. It was of most interest to the makers of sweets at the time, and nobody else. Only many years, later when they happened to get data on those children as adults, that the impact became more obvious. Being able to resist temptation means you're more likely to pay attention in class and not fidget, that you're more likely to save money and invest in your future, that you don't take short-cuts to happiness such as narcotics and over-eating.

It's a startling discovery. What if children were tested at 4 years old, and then graded. Society invests in the education of the delayers, and sends the greedy off to the salt mines...
 
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James King
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
Being able to resist temptation means you're more likely to pay attention in class and not fidget, that you're more likely to save money and invest in your future, that you don't take short-cuts to happiness such as narcotics and over-eating.

Given very young children's limited attention span, it seems like it would be very difficult to get them to commit to a game long enough to measure them on delayed gratification if there weren't some worthwhile incentive of a reward to try to win.

As it stands today, there are already at least two games on the market of
Chess and Checkers whose game pieces serve as containers in which to put candy in order to try to entice children into playing the games. When he/she defeats his/her opponent's game piece, the child essentially "beheads" (i.e. opens up) the conquered game piece and wins the candy.

And therein lies the rub for the delayed-gratification game designers: There are no rules to these two particular candy-laden games that reward children for delaying the eating of their captured opponent's candy until the end of the game.

And the only House Rule I can come up with to merit the delayed-gratification game-design challenge is to base one's score NOT on the number of captured opponent game tokens but on the number of captured and still-uneaten candy at the end of the game.

And of course, unless ya create a House Rule to prevent it, there would be nothing to prevent children from parlaying several truces during the course of a game whose terms might be something to the effect of: "I'll unwrap and eat a piece of candy at the same time with you if you'll do it, too." At least that might be building negotiation skills if nothing else.

 
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Steve B
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The game would need to have a time/event or strategy where waiting for an extra turn/round would provide more to the player than what it would be in the current turn/round. I think most games have small instances of this in some fashion, such as Small World. The "Cursed" modifier on the race card makes it so people who skip it need to put 3 coins on it (as opposed to one). Therefore the thought becomes "When do I pick this and get all the coins put on it?"

So I guess it comes down to cost/benefit analysis? Though for strict "delayed gratification", we would need an instance where waiting always benefits.
 
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Lacombe
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Agricola has an all but perfect analogue of the marshmallow trick [the caveat is that some other jerk can come and take your first marshmallow while you're waiting], although it is certainly too complex for most kids.
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Comet S
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Thinking of easier games, Ticket to Ride probably have the most straight forward concept in this, where building longer segment yields more points per car.

Another obvious example that came to mind is Power Grid, but here we pretty much hold on to our money and don't always build-as-much-as-we-can-afford for the purpose of getting the benefit of lagging behind on building track.
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Curt Carpenter
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:
As it stands today, there are already at least two games on the market of Chess and Checkers whose game pieces serve as containers in which to put candy in order to try to entice children into playing the games. When he/she defeats his/her opponent's game piece, the child essentially "beheads" (i.e. opens up) the conquered game piece and wins the candy.

This seems like a terrible model. Rather than teach de;ayed gratification, it seems to teach the greedy strategy. Capture something -- anything -- at your earliest possible convenience.

I think what we're talking about here is not any sort of real-world gratification, but rather in-game gratification. And one where the child can recognize the link between the "one now or two later" connection.
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Random Chance
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Chess? The game punishes instant gratification.

Sorry (the game). My five year old is playing that. The games teaches patience and resolve. Setback and payback is its theme.
 
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Russ Williams
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RandomChance wrote:
Chess? The game punishes instant gratification.

Real chess, sure. But the "candy chess" variant (capture a piece to earn a real piece of candy) would seem to encourage a focus on simply capturing as quickly as possible to get candy, instead of focusing on strategy to win.
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Andrew Foerster
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Ra and other auctions, as has been mentioned, can teach delayed gratification. In Ra you can get a much stronger bidding advantage by waiting to win auctions, and you can also let lots get bigger before calling an auction. Of course, with Ra tiles and such, the game can also encourage acting greedily.

Macao also encourages delayed gratification (and heavy planning) in giving you more resources if you're willing to take them later. You can get your cubes earlier, but you'll have fewer to work with, but take them later and you'll have to wait to use them. You also generally want to have big loads of cubes, periodically, to buy some of the nicer building and people cards, but with too many cubes you may run out of things to spend them on. Also, of course, is the fact that you want to ensure you get at least one cube each turn. Fun game.
 
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Random Chance
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russ wrote:
RandomChance wrote:
Chess? The game punishes instant gratification.

Real chess, sure. But the "candy chess" variant (capture a piece to earn a real piece of candy) would seem to encourage a focus on simply capturing as quickly as possible to get candy, instead of focusing on strategy to win.


I never heard of such variant (before). I'm a traditionalist I suppose. In fact, that's a terrible homage.

Edit: Acknowledging my ignorance of chess variant (thank goodness).
 
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Russ Williams
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RandomChance wrote:
russ wrote:
RandomChance wrote:
Chess? The game punishes instant gratification.

Real chess, sure. But the "candy chess" variant (capture a piece to earn a real piece of candy) would seem to encourage a focus on simply capturing as quickly as possible to get candy, instead of focusing on strategy to win.


I never heard of such variant. I'm a traditionalist I suppose. In fact, that's a terrible homage.

It was mentioned earlier in this thread, first in this comment.
 
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