A few years ago, I watched a video about learning through intuitive leaps by learning simple rules first.

The part I remember was talking about Mario Galaxy. When Mario entered a new land, he would be presented with a very simple puzzle to continue forward. As an unreal example, the first puzzle showed that jumping on a certain box would make some squares on a checkerboard solid and others ghosted. So you jump on the box to make a path across. The next puzzle took it a step further; there are multiple boxes and each one worked specific squares so you learned which boxes worked what squares. Next puzzle, you would have to turn on certain squares and turn off others. Then the final puzzle it added a 3rd dimension; not only a flat checker board, but some squares became walls you needed to turn off to pass through.

All of this is done by learning simple rules first and then applying them to increasingly harder puzzles.

Other examples of this concept would be "The Witness" and "Lemmings" video games.

In the video I saw, this concept had a clear, single word name. But I cannot remember that name. So I'm hoping that someone here knows that concept.

It is entirely possible that, since this was talking about Mario and its design, the word wasn't English. However I'm fairly certain it is.

  • Elaboration might work.
    – The Photon
    Dec 13 '19 at 2:35
  • 2
    I want to say that such games are progressive or iterative, but it's not clear to me exactly what sense is being looked for here. Dec 13 '19 at 6:50
  • Can you please provide a sentence indicating how you would use this word? You've requested a single word, but it's not completely clear if you mean a word to use together with "learning", as in "we mastered the game through [something] learning", or a word that itself implies learning, as in "we mastered the game through [something]".
    – nnnnnn
    Jan 12 '20 at 9:28

I believe the word that you are looking for is cumulative


Increasing by successive additions

Or more specifically the concept of 'cumulative learning' which refers to an accumulation of knowledge and abilities over time which leads to a better understanding of how to complete certain tasks.

Edit to add more references as requested in comments -

More Clearly

Cumulative learning consolidates the knowledge one has obtained through experiences, allowing it to be reproduced and exploited for subsequent learning situations through cumulative interaction between prior knowledge and new information.

Taken from - Lee, JungMi (1 January 2012). "Cumulative Learning". In Seel, Prof Dr Norbert M. (ed.). Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer US. pp. 887–893. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_1660. ISBN 978-1-4419-1427-9.

  • Answers without references are baseless.
    – Noaman Ali
    Jan 12 '20 at 13:43
  • @NoamanAli I would have hoped that the merriam-webster dictionary would be considered a valid reference. If you have a better suggestion for a reference please inform me Jan 12 '20 at 13:51
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    My question is where have you included reference? Giving out answers without a basis on ELU is discouraged, because they give rise to inane answers. Also, the word 'cumulative' doesn't necessarily imply a 'developmental transition.' This word is far from it. The question asks for a progressive development.
    – Noaman Ali
    Jan 12 '20 at 13:59
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    @NoamanAli my answer already a hyperlink to the merriam-webster site from where I have take the definition I have provided. (This seems to be the norm looking at the numerous answers I have seem on this site) and while the word 'cumulative' does not imply a 'developmental transition' the question does not ask for a term for 'developmental transition' further more I again have clarified that the term 'cumulative learning' would better fit the situation or even 'cumulative knowledge' Jan 12 '20 at 14:08
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    @NoamanAli English is not a language where if one word applicable others are not, furthermore my edit (as mentioned in the answer) was done to satisfy your request for more references. If you find my answer unsatisfactory you are free to add your own instead of jumping to ad hominem comments. Jan 12 '20 at 15:13

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