Thursday, January 01, 2009

Game 7: Bowling

Game: Bowling
Platform: Real Life
Cost: Depends on how serious you are......

Some types of training require physical skill and memory. And not every game has to be on the computer.

Is the game fun? Why? I'll admit that this game is more fun when I am not doing it competitively. I don't have a particularly tuned competitive instinct and find I would much rather compete with myself (best score) over others. There is, however, something appealingly satisfying about obliterating pins.

Do I want to play this repeatedly? Erm....because I'm in a bowling league, I kinda have to. The things I do for my friends.....

What did I learn playing it? I find that when I learn a new sport, I go through phases.

- Phase 1 - serviceable enough to see some promise. This encourages me to continue playing.

- Phase 2 - moderate improvement. I'm getting more comfortable with the activity and more comfortable with the rules and culture surrounding the activity.

- Phase 3 - can't perform the activity to save my life. At this stage, I am overthinking everything. I feel like I should be getting better, mentally know what I need to do, and just can't get my body to do it. This is where the threat of quitting is greatest and unless there is some true motivation / reason for me to continue, I may abandon the activity at this point.

- Phase 4 - improved consistency. I find myself back at the level before phase 3. There is also a feeling that I am at the brink of "finding my game." I'm here now with bowling and I am finding myself motivated to practice more because "I'm almost there."

I'm hoping there is a phase 5 - where I get really good at what I'm doing. Sadly, I haven't found a sport yet where I can actually threaten anyone with my athletic prowess.

What element(s) can I use when designing a game at work? Now this model works more for repetitive physical tasks. And I kinda wonder whether my feeling of the phases is just me....or the natural progression of physical training....or what happens when you are working with your weakest intelligence.

I think the takeaway here is keeping an eye on that frustration point and finding the appropriate motivation to get people to push through it.

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