I’ve always enjoyed the thought of using a videogame to help you make life decisions. Ubisoft’s new “My Life Coach” sounds like a fun concept based on old models of cognition. In fact, the comments to Kotaku’s mention of it show just how unimpressed many readers are with the basic concept. Behaviorist models of cognition seem as if they might be a bit easier to program than others. After all, ones and zeroes fit nicely with behaviorism. Either you do the thing or you don’t, right?
Of course when we talk about games’ potential for learning, however, the models of cognition we use are much, much more complex than behaviorist models, which are really great for training a dog to sit or stay but not so great for teaching my dog to see the world through the eyes of a human, which is why something like Nintendogs can be programmed into a meaningful experience for humans but not for dogs. In other words, behaviorist models in game-type-simulations might be useful for making your “to do” lists multimodally interesting, but they won’t do much more than that, imho. Still, if it’s more workable than the clunky Google Calendar, I might give it a try.