First, an analogy: Games are to puzzles as mysteries are to secrets.He goes on:
Second, a claim: The more you know about a mystery, the more mysterious it becomes. The more you know about a secret, the less secret it becomes.
.......Schools tend to pose problems to students in the form of puzzles far more than in the form of games. This can result in students being taught to think that there is an answer to every question, a solution to every problem. There is an endless array of secrets that others know and you don’t. When students leave school they frequently find that problems in the “real world” tend not to have “once and for all” solutions. Many problems seem to have no solution at all. People create problems themselves and solve problems created by others. They begin to think in terms of strategies for coping with their problems, strategies that serve their ends but can be expected to conflict with other people’s goals. Therefore a puzzle-based education might not prepare people for life after school as well as a game-based education might.
This made me think about how things that don't seem necessarily like "learning" in a schooly sense, around this particular house, often seem to have a long-term seed-planting effect which is a bit of a mystery to me. I think the puzzle-maker sets up the puzzle to control the outcome, while the game-maker sets it up to let the player have at least a hand in the outcome. Puzzles are fun, but they can only be solved one way; while games vary according to the dynamics of the game and the players.
There are practical alternatives to the puzzle approach, alternatives that encourage people to reflect upon, cope with, and even enjoy mysteries. That games are analogous to mysteries does seem to be the case insofar as progress towards higher and higher levels of game playing proves to bring greater and more confusing challenges. “Solutions” that worked at one level are exposed quickly as solutions that were only relevant to the prior situation. This follows whether the game is bridge, chess, football …