Teachers’ initial instincts are to remove barriers to learning. That is true for the harmful obstacles (racial bias, no pencils, hunger) but both games and school are full of obstacles. In games they are fun. For example, Mario has to reach the end of a level in 200 seconds without getting hit by a turtle shell. Lebron James has to dribble the ball in order to advance towards the hoop. Creativity and Critical Thinking come as a result of dealing with these obstacles. See this elbow?

The legend is that Michelangelo was give a flawed piece of Marble. The arm is in this weird position in order to accommodate the flaw in the marble.

Creativity is the heat created from rubbing against the limitations of obstacles.

Game obstacles are fun and engaging due to the need to be creative and think critically. Intentional and well thought out obstacles in school can offer this same creative friction.