Personality Development Exercise

Games as Psychology Lessons; A Different Perspective, 4  (Page 1)

 Personality Development Exercise

In this exercise we are going to progress from one view to another, right from First Person to Top. The exercise is written to begin on First Person, but you should start at the perspective that you naturally operate from. With a little use of the imagination it will be quite easy to move from one perspective to another.

Personality Development Exercise

Begin by relaxing (meditators please feel free to just meditate for a few moments before continuing).

Close your eyes and focus on your breath

Allow any thoughts of the day to gently slip away from your mind

Continue to focus on your breath until you feel completely relaxed.

Personality Development Exercise


In First person, we are sensitive to every part of our surroundings. We are living completely in the moment. You are focussing on the sensations in your body and the images and sounds that surround you.

From this point of view, mentally take one step backwards and look down upon yourself as a character in the room. You are looking over yourself. Imagine that your body and your thoughts are just objects that you can control. They are not you, but you are in control of them. Be aware of the position of your body relative to other objects in the room. Imagine that your body and thoughts are a character and a resource existing in a virtual world. This is the Third Person perspective used by salesmen.

Personality Development Exercise


Being aware of your body and your thoughts as a character and resources in a virtual world, consider how you can shape and manipulate these resources to produce a chosen image and message. Let us say, for instance (and because this author is insanely biased) that we want to produce the image and character of Ryu from Street Fighter by shaping the body and thoughts of our character from the Third Person view. Imagine how Ryu would stand, speak, what he would think, how he would interact etc and be aware of your ability to move and shape your body, voice and thoughts into producing this image. This is the Side-on view used by presenters and hosts.

Personality Development Exercise

Side to Top Down

From our Side-On view, step completely out of your own body and gaze down on yourself and though you were looking down on somebody from a great height. You do not feel the sensations in this person’s body, nor do you care particularly for their thoughts. They are a resource.  Now, take the time to consider this person’s relationship to other people and to material goods and other resources. Be aware of how this person can use those resources to produce a sequence of events leading to a positive conclusion. This is the top-down view used by managers.

Now that you are aware of your ability to view your life from different perspectives, you should find it easier to move from one view to another when necessary and so to think and act more effectively dependant on your situation. For instance, if you’re with a group of friends, let go and live in the first person for a while, your friends will love how uninhibited and spontaneous you are. If you are planning a large event, switch to top-down and be aware of the resources you have to make this event a success. If you’re welcoming people you have not met before, switch to side-on and produce a favourable image of yourself, and if you are trying to make a sale (or win over a member of the opposite sex) take control by switching to the third person.

Remember, games don’t work by magic, they work by making your brain think in more positive and effective ways. Start taking advantage of the positive psychology of games design today


Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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