Cookie Clicker saved my PhD

The author shares their experience of how playing the idle game Cookie Clicker unexpectedly sped up their ability to do research by a factor of 10, perhaps more. By sinking hundreds of hours into the game, the author inadvertently learned a lot about how programming for the browser works, which allowed them to prototype a complex user interface for their PhD research in hours rather than weeks. The article highlights the surprising benefits of seemingly pointless and recreational activities, challenging the dichotomy between “useful” and “useless” knowledge or research.

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