If, video replaces our thoughts with moving images, then games will replace our thoughts with systems. Whereas non-interactive media provide representations, games provide simulations. As such, the cognitive processes used to understand a game are completely different from those used to understand passive media. Even on a basic level the player is required to learn a complex network of causes and effects in order to successfully navigate any game.
This mode of thinking has the potential to create a framework for scientific curiosity. In science, as in game analysis, the observer asks a series of “why” questions down through layers of complexity in order to understand the systems that drive their subject. With the systemic fluency provided by playing games and a finely developed