Of late, I’ve become an increasingly greater fan of this game called “Type Racer“. In case you’re not sure what it is, it’s an online game where you compete against other people to see who can type faster (in real-time, which is really cool).
I used to play these sorts of typing test games all the time previously (back in the early 2000s). I had a goal (to hit 70 words per minute, which I’ve since hit and surpassed), and to hit this goal I practised typing with these games, which were fun but were not really the point. The point was I wanted to hit my typing speed goal.
These days though, these typing test games (or game, since I almost exclusively only play Type Racer) are for me a way of feeling like I’m being productive without really being productive. There is this quote that I once saw (attributed to Albert Einstein) before regarding the act of chopping wood:
People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.
It is this quote that keeps popping into my head whenever I open up Type Racer and start a race, typing at a speed far beyond what I had once thought I’d type at, and enjoying every
minute hour of it. Enjoying it because it feels like productive work; because it feels like I’m doing something. But I’m not.
You see, it feels like productive work because I’m busily typing away. My mind cannot quite differentiate between my typing away because I’m working, and my typing away because I’m playing a typing game. To my mind, the muscle memory that’s been activated to press the keys in front of me mean the same thing: I’m working, and that’s as far as it knows that’s good and deserves a shot of dopamine.