Posts in inspiration

Musings: “Design for a human pace of thought”

I attended the Games for Change Festival in New York a few weeks ago, and was inspired by one game in particular. Walden, a game by Tracy Fullerton really inspired me and resonated with how I want her life, inspired to become.

In a panel where she talked about how unique the game is, she said:

“Humans need practice unpacking life, what it means to be human: open-ended, wrestling with questions, space for reflection.”

That space for reflection is important. As we progress through our moments, our hours and our days, we’re constantly responding: to other people, to the environment, to what we feel is the best next move. However, if we move too fast we lose the ability to reflect– to understand what others have already arrived at, to understand what’s happening and to look beyond the obvious, what’s-right-in-front-of-you situation.

Imagine a game (as I’m currently doing), that allows you to wake up and take action in your life. A fantasy world you’re immersed in so deeply that it bleeds into reality. A reality that you view as a gap between where you are and where you want to be.

How do you even capture that feeling, to not only grasp the immediate need to take action, but to realize that you have to look beyond your now to see what could be?

I’ve been struggling with this for a while, but maybe it’s simply this: build in space for reflection.

Maybe, unanswered questions are okay.

Maybe it’s worth contemplating about.

As Tracy so aptly put it: Design for a human pace of thought.


I want this game to feel personal enough where the player can envision herself acting on decisions in real life, kind of like anticipating a situation and visualizing the desired outcome. I want this virtual world to feel tangible.

And, I also want it to be fun. I want it to go beyond a self-help book or a how-to guide, and put the player in the driver’s seat of a narrative that’s delightful for the very fact that she’s not tied to the constraints of her past history, but can start from the current moment and guide someone else to the live the live they have imagined. In turn, it will empower her that this can be realized in her own life.


From the design doc:

  • Player experience goals
    • Player creates a personal goal/intention based on life experience design process
    • Player should feel inspired and confident to apply goal/execute behavior in the real world
    • Player should feel delighted in discovery process
  • Game mechanics
    • Interactive narrative with choices/decision points


Practicing non-judgment

I’m currently reading Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke to help calm my nerves about the labor & delivery process. I used to work at a center where she would teach a class on the same topic, and at that time in my life, pregnancy was one of the furthest things from my mind.

Now, the reality is approaching and I want to be as mentally and emotionally prepared for it. I can’t think of a better way than practicing mindfulness.

One key thing about mindfulness meditation practice is non-judgment. It’s the act of not reacting to situations and instantly labeling them as “good” or “bad,” but rather just letting something be. As the book describes, “Because mindfulness allows us to take a step away from our stories, we are less likely to get caught up in an endless loop of painful judgments about either ourselves or others…makes it possible to see that we are not our thoughts.” By letting go and living in the space of what happens around us and how we interpret it, it becomes easier to simply observe and be in the present moment. Read More