The Real Open-World Sandbox Game

A given perspective can make you happy or miserable. Sometimes it's fun to think of life as a kind of video game. Play is pretty great attitude, and I've really enjoyed working with people that nail this.

Anecdotal evidence suggests video gaming folks are happier, but it's still possible to compartmentalize real life and play. We have to translate good game thinking into life thinking. These are a few patterns I see.

One trick that games do, is make failure acceptable. This means be prepared to fail, dust off, and repeat. Break things down so the stakes are lower. Laugh about failures, ideally. Don't expect to win first try - that'd be too easy. Our stats are incrementally improving, probably.

Games don't take themselves too seriously. This is tricky - to appropriately respect a subject, yet keep things fun. New ideas require a touch of unexpected. It's ok to question rules, test edges, and do the experiment. Just keep a safety check on consequences.

Games let us cooperate, and celebrate others success. We spend hours problem-solving together in-game. Particularly skilled friends spend hours teaching, and saving my ass. How great is that. People scream, "Help!", and we run to them.

Games let us celebrate diversity. Swap gender, and/or play as another race/culture - that's fine. It's interesting to see how differently people respond. I believe the lasting effects of role-playing diversity, and diverse media exposure is positive.

SMBC by Zach Weinersmith

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