All the time, man
I was walking on a path behind my house this morning, as I tend to do on my infrequent writing breaks, and came across a beaten area that habitually causes issues. If it rains for so much as a minute, the entire worn road is filled with mud for days on end. The problem? It cuts out a ton of time to get to the nearby shopping center.
So I figured out a system (pictured above) for getting through it. Much like solving a pressure plate puzzle in a tomb in a video game, it took time, but I figured out the spots that were dry, and now I can navigate it (it’s tougher than it looks as some patches are deceptively muddy!). This same sensation came across me after playing The Witness, which I’m sure is exactly what creator Jonathan Blow wanted. I began to see patterns in just about everything, trying to connect the dots to a non-existent goal. Whenever I marathon Tony Hawk games, it’s the same thing — I’m constantly looking at places to grind and wrack up a high score.
It’s a neat phenomenon, but as I’ve come to realize over the years, it’s far from an isolated one. Feel free to share your stories below.