Patch notes

When game developers ship a major update to the game, they’ll write up an article to let the players know that the update is live. At the end of that article are the patch notes – a way for the developers to tell the players, Oh by the way, we made a few minor adjustments and fixes while we were at it.

The minor adjustments and fixes aren’t significant enough for their own articles. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth noticing.

Without the patch notes, players would interact with a familiar sequence, get an unfamiliar outcome, and have no clue why. Since this new outcome wasn’t mentioned by the developers, the players consider it to be a glitch. But according to the developers, that outcome is a feature – they wanted it to happen that way, that outcome was the right result of that sequence.

So, in real life, are we aware of the minor adjustments that happen in and around us, everyday, minute by minute?

Are we acting out glitches or features?

If I flip somebody off for taking my parking spot, am I aware of my anger? Do I know that this emotion is exactly what I intended? Or is my anger the result of years of conditioning myself to be upset when I don’t get my way?

Patch notes come out everyday. Countless minor adjustments and fixes are happening in and around you all the time.

Yesterday, flipping that guy off might have worked (if getting punched in the face was the outcome that you wanted). But today, staying calm is part of the new meta-game.

You’ve been making changes in your behavior by reading all these self-help books and articles. You’re a different person than you were yesterday, and it’s time to start acting like the person that you wish you were.

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