I've heard of the Tetris effect, which is essentially the same thing with the difference being that the brain does it subconsciously.

The word I'm looking for is when someone knowingly pretends life is a game to do things in a gamified manner.

For example: If someone thinks that they are speedrunning a task in life, they do it quickly and hastily as if in a game.

Is there any similar word if there isn't any?

  • @DecapitatedSoul For the person who perceives life as a game. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 18:59
  • Shakespearean? Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:15
  • 1
    You can say, they have tetris syndrome.
    – Ubi.B
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:45
  • Sometimes people go through the motions if they want to finish a job in a perfunctory way. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:55
  • Would one be taking lightly the consequences of decisions and actions here? I.E. would one not worry about running off a cliff because it's just a game, or is it rather layering a fantasy veil over reality to make it more enjoyable, or perhaps applying tactics and strategies to life as one would in a game?
    – Ram
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 3:00

3 Answers 3


Not a noun but for such kind of person, I would use flippant or frivolous.

The action of perceiving life as a game could be described as frivolity.

Frivolity: behaviour that is silly and not serious, or things that are silly and not important. [Cambridge English dictionary]

Example: They should not treat their life with frivolity.

In your example, you could say:

If someone thinks that they are speedrunning a task in life, they do it frivolously.

Light-minded or skittish are also possible. (Is it self-gamification?)

  • 'flippant' means 'not caring about consequences', 'frivolous' means 'not serious'. While they are both related to and possible inferences from 'gamifying', neither comes close to capturing 'treating life like a game'.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 18:00

I can't think of a good noun for this, but I wonder if some kind of metaphor or simile might work?

e.g. "The world is her Playstation, and it's game over for anyone in the way", "If the street were a screen, he'd be Pacman", "Each day was a like new level of Super Mario Bros, harder than the last, yet he had always found his princess by sunset"....

(I'm out of touch with the culture, so forgive the dated ideas!)


You've already used a form of the right word—they are "gamifying" their life:

to make an activity more like a game in order to make it more interesting or enjoyable:
Is gamifying the news the future?

Usually we see it used as "gamification", but "gamify" is valid. Forbes uses "gamify" in the title of an article, and includes "Gamifying the workplace" as a section within it:

Gamify Your Life and Become Massively Successful

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