Ways to get the brain going

When I feel there is a something to think about I like to play a game and today, oddly enough ,I wanted to think about how playing games helped me to think. Now that I am fresh out of match of Natural Selection 2 the job my to write up my thoughts. I never feel like I have any answers after playing the game, just more questions, but I do feel like I can see more of the picture before my team of virtual marines got battered by the opposing team of virtual aliens.

I don’t question this process anymore, during work time I am unable to bust out my best mech suit and mow down those pesky aliens so I go for a quick walk, usually to the water cooler. Typically during my lunch hour I like to write things, but if I feel a pretty difficult thinking day is going on then instead I benefit from some gaming mojo and sneaking on a bit of Dwarf Fortress while I munch on my packed lunch. Tinkering my fortress’ ale production mechanisms sets me up for the afternoon tasks.

I don’t question what it is about gaming or walking because I know it gets my mind going, I know that there is something about the process that enables me to see something in a way I didn’t see it before. It’s more evident when I am writing, before a 20-minute blast I can be staring at the screen not knowing how to get words down, afterwards it can just flow much easier. The only way I can really describe the sensation is that I felt gagged before. It gets the creative juices flowing and I know that it works for me. I’m sure it has something to do with the areas of the brain that are stimulated when you work together to bring down an enemy Onos. There is something about the experience that is creative and relaxing at the same time. I’m sure there are lots of clever people out there who understand and about creativity, perhaps somebody might leave a comment to explain.

Natural Selection 2 Onos
This is what is meant by taking down an Onos. This is a screen capture of me thinking.

This led me to think about ways in which I can work that invoke the same creative mood. I can’t lob virtual grenades at an army of enemy skulls on a conference call because I’m not allowed. I’ve been thinking of ways in which I can work or take notes that do the same. I’ve been particularly inspired by Sheila’s visual note taking, an example of one she did for the last LACE webinar you can see on her blog.

I’d like to do something similar but I’m afraid I am no good at art. I have a little tablet somewhere that lets me sketch things on my PC and I’m thinking of doing little doodles in flash or something during webinars in the such. Maybe I could do something with video? Thinking of other people to ask for advice on creative ways to take notes I turned to the students, but they told me they just hand write notes and never return to them, I can relate to that. I wonder if that’s what they do because it is the most effect method for them or if that’s what they do because it is what we told them to do. I wonder how much damage we do to children when we don’t support their creative side however they find it best to express themselves, scrap that, I wonder how much damage we do to each other when we don’t support each others creatives side. Thinking of all my favorite blogs they all do something creative to get the brain going. Could be music, humor or creative note taking.