Jay Dragon, my child who continues to inspire me in so many ways, has been passionate about a sort of gamification that fascinates me. Most recently, they were posting 200 word mini games for an upcoming event. Inspired by these short narratives, I decided to write a few of my own based on ideas that have been floating around in my head. I’m not sure that what I’ve written qualifies as games in the same sense, but nevertheless, the ideas therein might be of use to someone.
All of these are games to play with yourself.
By the way, Jay has a Patreon site where they share some interesting thinking on the topic of games.
Wake up in the morning. Before you look at your phone, – but go pee if needed – think about people in your life, and whisper, “thank you.” Start with your mother – and work from there – relatives, friends, mentors in your life. But when you’re done, say to yourself, “thank you.”
During the day go to the worst place with people. Maybe it’s the bus, or subway, or just some other place filled with people that may not be in the best mood. Look at each person, and imagine warmth in your chest for them. Imagine yourself giving that person a hug while still feeling the warmth. When you’re done, try to see your own reflection in a window or mirror, and imagine feeling the warmth in your chest, and giving yourself a hug.
At night, get into bed. Think about anyone who wasn’t nice to you either in the day or sometime in the past. With each, whisper, “I forgive you.” If you can’t think of anyone who’s been mean to you just think about fascists, and think “I forgive you.” Then, think about yourself, and say that, too: “I forgive you.”
The next time you go to a concert, whether it’s amplified music or acoustic chamber music, hold out your hands with your palms upwards. You can close your eyes if you want. Feel the vibrations of the music on your fingers. It’s sometimes hard at first, but with a little practice, it gets easier.
Once you’re able to feel music vibrations on your fingers easily, try to feel it on the skin of your face. If you’re wearing a hat, you might want to take it off, as it’s possible the vibrations may travel down your hair follicles into your scalp, too.
Once you can feel music vibrations on your face, go outside, and feel the sunlight on your face. Now feel the colors you see on your face, too. And as you walk down the street, keep feeling the colors. Don’t just focus on the little colors – try to feel everything on your skin.
When you breathe in, breathe in the colors, and feel them mix up in your lungs. Now breathe out pure light. Imagine breathing out the pure light onto the people you see.
Anxiety the Dog
This is a game with your anxiety.
Turn your anxiety into a dog. A really ugly dog, with shit encrusted in its fur. This isn´t a nice dog, instead, it snarls at everyone, and chews its own butt incessantly. Put a golden lead on the ugly dog, and say “sit.” It might take a few times. Once the ugly dog sits, then try walking a few steps, and say “heel,” yanking on the lead if necessary. You can make those clicking sounds like the guy does on television, if needed. Just keep at it until the dog, despite chewing its butt, is bit better mannered.
Before taking a shower, imagine your anxiety is a crust of shit and mud covering your head, and all over your skin. As you shower, imagine the shit and mud slowly washing away, down the drain.