We All Level Up

In this episode we explore the similarities between how game characters level up and how we acquire skills in real life. Especially, we focus on school. In the early years of school students follow a fixed development path. Students adhere to a fairly standardized curriculum. Furthermore, there’s not much variety in course selection.

That all changes in college, however.

Episode Details

  • Greetings and the introduction (00:54)
  • Systems to level up in games (02:16)
  • Regardless of the system, leveling up in a game tries to convey a single intent (05:10)
  • Fixed character development paths; conversely, open-ended skill trees (08:44)
  • Moving to the next grade in school is a direct parallel to gaining a level on a fixed path (11:21)
  • Conversely, higher education is an open-ended development path (16:04)
  • The pace of leveling up in games and life (22:26)
  • In light of the parallel, can students be over-leveled? (28:09)
  • Addressing feedback: No, I don’t have a 1200w power supply (33:16)
  • SWS: Beer! Arrogant Bastard from Stone Brewing (37:01)
  • Finally, opening it up for feedback (44:06)


Comments & Conversation


  • ExyJ says:

    Hey Poly,
    Sorry for missing the last few episodes, I was having some hardware problems in a pretty stressful time period. (my laptop and accessories basically fell apart haha) But now I’ve stocked up on technology again and I’ll be back to regularly posting feedback as it is my knightly duty.
    Talking about knights I have been totally hooked on For Honor and while it has some networking and balance issues, I absolutely adore it, You should check it out if you like fighting games.
    I feel like you’ve been constructing a nice analogy throughout the recent podcasts and I can absolutely relate to most of it. Here in Austria fine-tuning your “build” as a student starts even earlier since there are two basic school systems, one of which is taking the place of the classical high school, while the other one is a hybrid between high school and college. Takes one more year to complete and you graduate with a job profession. While you are not awarded a bachelor, you are able to receive for example the title of engineer after one year of working in the industry.
    Speaking of AMD, have you heard the news on the new Ryzen core? Sounds like Intel’s finally gonna get some competition again.
    That’s all for now, stoked for next week, keep it up!

    PS: Are we going to get an episode on Rogue One?

    • Phil/Poly says:

      No worries! I sympathize with your hardware woes; I had some recent ones of my own. I had to go about a day and a half without my PC and it felt like rubbing sticks together to make fire.

      The high school/college hybrid sounds interesting. Here in the states we have trade schools which sound kinda similar; you go to one for a time that’s usually less than traditional college and do focused technical training. When complete, you come out as a professional. Electricians, aircraft mechanics and the like.

      I hadn’t been eyeing Ryzen, but I just did some quick searching and will be keeping watch. I’m about due for a CPU refresh and I would freakin’ LOVE to see AMD challenge Intel again. In the early/mid-2000s, AMD and ATI (at the time, two separate companies) were in a neck-and-neck race with Intel and nVidia. It was glorious. So thanks for the tip, man!

      A Rogue One show is still in the hopper; I’m thinking I might try to time it with the home release towards the end of March. Thanks as always for the feedback and comments!