This is a spectacularly good post by Ixobelle, to which I will add only one thing.

A book I’m reading discusses the biology of the brain’s sensation of joy. It presents evidence that — like the joyful release at the end of a good joke, or a mystery novel — the brain requires suspense, even a bit of fear, in order to experience the release of joy. The formula is something like “familiar experience + unexpected suspense + overcoming challenge = joy.”

It’s why I enjoy unpredictable fights in World of Warcraft — including the new Faction Champions fight, one of my favorites — more than any other content.

Anyhow:  Ixobelle: Pattern Recognition in Humans (…with applications in MMOs).

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