Language and Thought: Exploring the Connection and Unraveling the Impact of Gacha Games


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Sep 20, 2023

4 min read


Language and Thought: Exploring the Connection and Unraveling the Impact of Gacha Games

Language and thought have long been subjects of fascination and debate among scholars and researchers. The question of whether we think in a natural language, such as English or Italian, or in something else altogether, continues to perplex and intrigue. In this article, we will delve into the relationship between language and thought, examining various perspectives and insights from different fields of study.

One way to approach the issue is to define natural language as a computational system of the mind, as proposed by Noam Chomsky. Chomsky argues that language is not just a means of communication but also a set of mental representations connected to other cognitive systems. This view suggests that language is an integral part of our thinking process.

Another perspective, put forth by philosopher Jerry Fodor, considers natural language as a set of propositional attitudes. Fodor suggests that mental representations, expressed through language, play a crucial role in our cognitive abilities. For example, the sentence "I believe/fear that this post will go unread" reflects our ability to attribute beliefs and desires to ourselves and others.

Psychologist Michael Tomasello offers a different viewpoint, linking language to mind reading and communication. According to Tomasello, language enables us to ascribe mental states to others, enhancing our ability to understand and interact with them. This perspective emphasizes the social aspect of language and its role in facilitating interpersonal relationships.

On the other hand, some philosophers, such as Donald Davidson and Ruth Millikan, argue that language is not just a tool for thought, but rather a prerequisite for it. They propose that certain cognitive abilities, like representing propositional attitudes, can only be achieved through language. In this view, language becomes a fundamental aspect of our thinking capacity.

Philosopher Peter Carruthers takes a slightly different stance, suggesting that language connects different conceptual systems of the mind through specific linguistic representations. Carruthers posits that without a fully developed language faculty, these conceptual systems would remain separate and disconnected. This perspective highlights the integrative role of language in our cognitive architecture.

When considering the relationship between language and thought, it is essential to examine the representations provided by language. These representations can be syntactic, phonological, semantic, and more. They serve as the content or proposition of our thoughts and the structural properties or format of our thought representations.

In the realm of gaming, particularly in the context of gacha games, the impact of language and thought becomes even more intriguing. Gacha games, known for their addictive and rewarding nature, have the power to disrupt and overpower other aspects of game development, such as level design and balance.

A former social game developer highlights the phenomenon of gacha games, stating that they have the ability to dismantle and overshadow carefully crafted game elements. The thrill of "pulling" new items from gacha mechanisms often takes precedence over the overall game experience. This observation raises questions about the psychological impact of gacha games and their potential to manipulate our thought processes.

In the world of game development, success often hinges on a combination of quality and visibility. The logic behind what sells in the market revolves around the equation of "good product x awareness." Without some form of promotion or viral hit, it is challenging for a game to gain traction and achieve commercial success. This observation parallels the notion that language, as a means of communication and promotion, plays a pivotal role in shaping our thoughts and influencing our actions.

Now, let us explore three actionable pieces of advice derived from our understanding of the connection between language and thought:

  • 1. Cultivate a mindful awareness of the language you consume: Pay attention to the language used in advertisements, social media, and other forms of media. Recognize the potential influence of language on your thoughts and decisions, and critically evaluate the messages conveyed.
  • 2. Foster a diverse linguistic repertoire: Expose yourself to different languages and cultures, as this can broaden your conceptual systems and enhance your cognitive flexibility. Embracing linguistic diversity can open up new perspectives and enrich your thinking process.
  • 3. Engage in critical reflection on the impact of gamification: When interacting with gacha games or other forms of gamification, reflect on the underlying mechanics and their potential influence on your thoughts and behaviors. Developing a critical awareness can help you make informed choices and mitigate any negative effects.

In conclusion, the relationship between language and thought is a complex and multifaceted topic. While there is no definitive answer to whether we think in a natural language or something else, exploring different perspectives allows us to gain insights into the intricate interplay between language and cognition. By understanding this connection, we can navigate the linguistic landscape with greater awareness and harness the power of language and thought in our daily lives.

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