In a lecture called “Queerer Than We Can Suppose: The Strangeness of Science,” Richard Dawkins once spoke about the nature of the universe, and how strange certain things become as we get down to the quantum level.  The great scientist Richard Feynman one quipped “If you think you understand quantum theory, then you don’t understand quantum theory.”

In his musings, though, professor Dawkins suggested that it might be possible, through the use of a video game that requires the same unusual assumptions as quantum mechanics, to create a new generation of children that are able to grasp quantum theory more readily than their ancestors.

In our everyday lives, we find solutions to problem.  The well from which we draw to find those solutions is filled with the knowledge, skills, and experiences that we put into it in our lives.  When one person is able to find a solution that others cannot initially see, it is often not because of a higher degree of intelligence.  Rather, it is because that person is conditioned with the right set of experiences; his or her life has been shaped into the “key” that fits the problem’s keyhole.

Games have the power to shape the way we solve problems.   The greater the variety of games we expose ourselves to, the greater the possibility that our gaming experience will help us in the problems we face in our lives.  Whether it is something as simple as planning our day, or as complicated as quantum mechanics, the solutions to our problems are shaped by the way we think, and the way we think can be shaped by the games we play.

And THAT is why games matter.