Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Life: The Game

Games come with a wide variety of themes ranging from the ridiculous to the brilliant, from pure fantasy to the historical but I can see many aspects of gaming in our day to day lives.

Love is a game. In the search for your perfect mate, you’ll be trying to find the best balance between unwanted traits and must-have traits. He loves football, which you can’t stand, but he also loves cats. She spends too much money on clothes but she loves camping. The love game also involves some hidden information, slight bluffing and tense timing.

Travel is a game. First you must decide your mode of transportation: walk, bike, drive a car, take a bus or hail a taxi are your most likely options. In each case you’ll be forced to find the shortest, fastest route and one you can afford. For some people, the choice of routes are limited but in all cases the player must still deal with all of the other players who are likewise “traveling”. Any bad move you make could result in your elimination from the game.

Career/Job is a game. Actually, these are two distinctly different games.

Career is a game of advancement as you gather the necessary items to move to the next level. The version you’ve chosen to play will decide which items you will be required to find or tasks you’ll be required to perform. There is a unique one-sided co-operation element to this game where you decide the amount of co-operation you wish to offer and the gamer playing the “Boss” will decide if it is enough to satisfy his hidden requirements.

Job is more of a roll & move game where you will often be drawing a face-down card. Some of these cards have good events but many will have bad. How you respond to these unforeseen events will determine how well you do. Many people have tried different versions of this game before deciding on one that they enjoy playing while others have traded their copy of Job for a copy of Career. A few have gone on to be designers of some version of Job.

Politics is a game. This is a vicious, very confrontational game of negotiation, bribery, co-operation, and secret voting as well as open voting all wrapped up in an area-majority game. The toughest part of this game is determining the winner as often the winners and losers aren’t even the ones playing the game.

Raising children is a game. This is a role-playing/memory game with you on one side and all the sub-players on the other. Your job is to make up the rules as you go along and remember them throughout the entire game. The rules may change with each new player but it’s up to you to convince the sub-players that they make sense. You win when all the sub-players leave the game and go on to play games of their own.
Until next time, keep your chits in order.



e4c5 said...

Interesting reading...I liked this entry a great deal.

Anonymous said...

I drive everywhere as a "game". How to optimize the route to get there in the least time...

It's tricky as often I have to weigh a stopsign vs 2 stop lights, or a stopsign vs an extra block or two of travel... which to take? Time of day and traffic figure in to it.

Unfortunately, "losing" sometimes upsets me more than it should, so I have to be sure to not display frustration to the rest of the car...