Life – The Ultimate Game

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Life – The Ultimate Game.

Steve Pavlina has written a very thought-provoking article on Life – here’s the teaser, click the source link for the full article:

When designing a game, a good game designer will present the player with a solid collection of compelling choices.  As long as the choices remain compelling, the game has a chance of being fun.  But if the choices are boring, confusing, pointless, or broken, it’s unlikely a fun game will emerge… although you could still end up with a Zune.  ;)

Consider classic games like poker, chess, and go.  Compelling choices abound.  Now consider tic tac toe.  When you’re a child, the choices may seem compelling, and the game can even be fun.  But as you mature, the choices become boring and obvious, and the game quickly loses its appeal.

In a game you may also have resources, a currency you can spend.  Maybe it’s gold, mana, or energy.  Resources add new choices:  How will you generate income?  How much will you generate?  How will you spend your income?  How will you balance your time between production vs. production capacity (i.e. generating income vs. increasing your earnings potential)?

What’s the purpose of a game?  The purpose of a game is to enjoy the experience – to have fun.  Another reason for playing games is to grow, since games can be wonderful teachers.  Having fun and growing sounds like a nice way to spend real life, doesn’t it?

What makes for a good game player?  To answer this question, you’ll probably imagine someone who’s a good sport, who makes an effort to play his/her best while respecting that all players need an opportunity to enjoy the experience, including would-be competitors.  A good player takes time to develop his/her skills.  S/he takes the play of the game seriously, but not so seriously as to become overly attached to outcomes.  A person who’s overly attached to outcomes is what we call a sore loser or sore winner.

If life is a game, how good a player are you?

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