Game of Cults email 43 of 45: Controlling a Pseudo-Environment

When fully implemented, your game will become another’s reality. Through the influence of their individual and collective pseudo-environment, they become a working part of what is called structuration, where media users are influenced by and influence the system. This is the essence of a complex self-organizing system.

What we seek to do is to take control of the system. It’s a slow process that begins with occasional nudges, then influence, and finally control.

Yes, control.

It may seem far-fetched, but it’s not.

While complex, the market is self-organizing and driven by fixed rules tied to logic created by humans.

Although we don’t have access to Big Tech’s data, the logic behind their algorithms can be extrapolated. Amazon seeks a high conversion rate and has marketing systems to replicate high conversion events. This is the macro bias of a sales platform—they want to sell stuff.

Are you familiar with the term cognitive bias?

Such biases are critical to maintaining our pseudo-environment and helping us navigate the world.


A game designed well will help to reset the pseudo-environment by influencing an individual’s cognitive biases. Our game paths influence, reinforce, or trigger these cognitive biases by delivering an emotional response when activated.

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As you can see from the diagram, hundreds of these biases have been documented or researched. These are the parts of our fast-thinking system that we have little control over and drive 80% of our decision-making.

Here are some ways we look to influence the individual and, by extension, get critical mass in your community to unconsciously behave how we wish.

Ease of Choice

We seek ease of choice. We want agency and control but not an overwhelming amount of it. When we look to do something, we rely on the advice of others. The artificial markets and “leading the herd astray” studies showed us that we look to social influence through rank and rating, but we also will fall back on our personal taste when we distrust groupthink. Yes, a book with visibility will get our attention, but once we investigate and determine we disagree with what the group says is good, we lose trust in that group.

Remember, community building is a time-dependent process. To solidify a massive community, you need to give the individuals time to habituate to your brand.

  • We notice things already primed in our minds and repeated often.
  • We look for details that confirm existing beliefs.
  • To act, we need to be confident.
  • We look for simple options and complete information over ambiguity.

Positive Feedback Loops

Most of the success of any business is doing the right things, the right way, over and over. I know this is boring, and as a creative with an entrepreneurial spirit, you find it mind-numbing to be consigned to doing the same thing again and again.

Too bad.

What people desire is the consistency of service and product quality. The process may feel stifling, but it drives the growth of customers and cash.

To alleviate the monotony, look to build positive feedback loops that operate automatically. This is achieved by creating game structures that perpetuate what we seek.

These loops create structuration. This is vital. Over time, your loops build and build, influencing the market. Then the market feeds back more of the same, and your customer base compounds. You must create these loops. Otherwise, you will have to keep doing things manually in a haphazard way, if at all—and that will never create a pseudo-environment.

Thanks for your attention,


One More Thing…

I wanted to share with you something new I’m doing. If you’re looking to get my old content, there are a couple of ways that you can get access to it.

I’m posting Wynn-ing Ways emails on my website here. Please share it with other authors that you feel would benefit.

The next option is audio. I’ve created a new podcast called Hello, Author! I use a text-to-speech of my voice to read past emails.

This is all part of my work to make past content available in more ways. You can get access here or on your favorite podcast player. Just search for Joe Solari and Hello Author.

Email 44 of 45