Despite the clamoring idiots screaming until their beady, vacant eyes are bloodshot saying differently, science is still real. And it turns out, very helpful for gamers looking to min-max their lives. Min-maxing is when a player carefully calibrates their in-game stats to have the best possible build to minimize damage taken and maximize damage output. Replace the words “damage output” with the word “fun” and that’s exactly what researchers have figured out how to do with our daily activities. Min-maxers are ultimately seeking the path of least resistance, so if you’re one of those folks, don’t worry, there is a supremely easy way to make sure that you’re setting yourself up to have the maximum amount of fun every time you sit down for a good old gaming session.

It’s all in the delicate balance of when and how you decide to game. Work, chores, social obligations, in a perfect world, we could just sit in an ergonomic egg and game all day, but alas we all got bills to pay. Research suggests that precisely scheduling leisure activities saps the fun out of them, especially if they’re followed by further onerous tasks like work. So if you’re planning to game on your lunch break and then hop into 3 hours of back to back meetings, you may want to wait. You wouldn’t want to disappoint Mario by not giving him your full attention now would you?

Nintendo/Tristan Cooper

Scientist Mario knows that a rough schedule powers up your gaming.

But weirdly, roughly scheduling a leisure activity leads to an equal amount of enjoyment as when an activity happens spontaneously. Instead of deciding that you’re going to play games exactly from 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM, keep in your head (or calendar) that you’re going to play games "after dinner" for example. Just like beating that Elden Ring boss when your hands get sweaty on the controller, maximizing your fun while gaming requires you to be holding on not too loose, not too tight to your grip on time management.

Why not leave gaming time up to the gods and just game whenever? Well, anticipation is part of the fun. Looking forward to a gaming session, dreaming about the enemies you’ll crush and the tasty new loot you’ll pluck from their cold, pixelated hands, is pretty enjoyable in and of itself. So gamers, pencil in a vague time and start reveling in ideas of what to play next. Now that we’ve min-maxed your brain’s pleasure centers, it’s gonna be game on.

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