Sunday, April 02, 2006

10 Ways to Engage

I said this already, I'll say it again. Escapism and 'fun' as a goal for video game design is killing the medium stone dead. Only through engagement can a future of any sort be realised. Here are some ways to start engaging.

1. Watch and read the news. Learn in-depth about the world around you rather than the pithy version that comes through your company mailing list and forums.
2. Create something. Not a game. Paint something, write a poem, go outside and take some photographs.
3. Meditate. Learn to just sit and listen to the world around you without thinking.
4. Socialise. This may be hard for most of us, but go out with friends more often, non-gamer friends. Don't talk about games, sci-fi, the latest laptop that you bought. Talk about them, their jobs and their lives. Find out about their relationships.
5. Dance. The sight of geeks dancing may be horrible, but dance nonetheless. And sing too, if you feel like it.
6. Do some charity work. Go and serve soup to the poor, or volunteer at an Oxfam shop, or something that puts you in contact with real people.
7. Go to a match. Go and sit in a soccer stadium and cheer on Arsenal or the Bears or whoever you like. Go with sports-fan friends if you can.
8. Cycle. Or run. Or even walk. Get out into your environment, climb a hill, trek through a forest, canoe down a river.
9. Gallery hop. Go take in some culture. Modern stuff, old stuff. Try and regard it all with an open mind rather than your standard 'modern art is nonsense' face. Take a wander around some architecture.
10. Now take all those feelings and discoveries and construct a fiction for a game that you think you would like to play.

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