You may be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (more on this below the cut). Maslow’s theory has heavily influenced the architecture of our AI technology, which is why I’m attuned to discussions of it or instances that support or undercut it. Recently I ran across a theory in education known as “CBUPO,” an ungainly acronym for “Comptence, Belonging, Usefulness, Potency, Optimism” designed by Richard Sagor at Washington State University (an accessible introduction can be found here (pdf)). Sagor’s theory suggests some interesting modifications to Maslow that have consequences for how we understand ourselves — as well as the motivations for gamers and AIs.
(Warning: psychological theory leading to AI and game-relevant thoughts below.)