When not working, does the world’s greatest innovator sit in a cardigan reading books, à la Jimmy Carter or Bill Gates? Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson:
One key to understanding Musk—his intensity, focus, competitiveness, die-hard attitudes, and love of strategy—is through his passion for video games. Hours of immersion became the way he let off (or built up) steam and honed his tactical skills and strategic thinking for business.
Musk had enjoyed all types of video games as a teenager in South Africa, including first-person shooters and adventure quests, but at college he became more focused on the genre known as strategy games, ones that involve two or more players competing to build an empire using high-level strategy, resource management, supply-chain logistics, and tactical thinking.
His only indulgence was allowing breaks for intense video-game binges. The Zip2 team won second place in a national Quake competition.
In 2021, he became obsessed with a new multiplayer strategy game on his iPhone, Polytopia. In it, players choose to be one of sixteen characters, known as tribes, and compete to develop technologies, corner resources, and wage battles in order to build an empire. He became so good he was able to beat the game’s Swedish developer, Felix Ekenstam. What did his passion for the game say about him? “I am just wired for war, basically,” he answers.
This seems like a good time to drag out a TED talk by a neuroscientist, Daphne Bavelier. This was sent to me by a neuroscientist who hates video games and has spent years trying to prevent his son from playing them. He admits that there is no scientific basis for his hatred and cites Prof. Bavelier.
What is the rationale for telling kids to get off their Xboxes if Elon Musk thrived on shooter games and #Science says that games are beneficial?
- Rethinking 99 weeks of unemployment, my 2011 post questioning “the river of money that is going into the 99-weeks-of-Xbox system”