Xavier's Blog

New challenges are fun

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Like millions of others, I decided to buy the latest Zelda game last week. My short review: I love it. Starting it inspired me to share one idea that stood out.

Every time a new game comes out in this series, some of the progress of the last one is, in some way, lost. Without spoiling anything meaningful, this new game is not an exception. You learn quickly that you are not at 100% anymore. There is a new 100% to get to. And that’s… FUN.

This kind of “reset” is actually very common in games (See Bag Of Spilling Trope).

I believe that game designers are implicitly revealing an interesting human idea here:

Life can be more fun when you face new challenges

Outside of Hyrule, what is an area of your life that’s gotten easy, stale, or boring? Can you start over with a different goal in mind? Can you come up with new challenges to make things fun?

There can be such a thing as too challenging. Trust your intuition and aim to find that sweet spot between boring/easy and too stressful/hard. I highly recommend checking out the psychological idea of flow if you’re interested in learning more about this sweet spot.