I had a great Thanksgiving this year. I spite of my car breaking down in Yreka (on my way to Oregon), I was in great company for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I was at my sister’s new Oregon house with my siblings, some of my sister’s friends and their two daughters (7 and 14). There were 8 of us all together. We played games most of the time – many games. Something happened during one of the games that made me go, “Hmmm.” I got wiped out by the 14 year old. I was cruising along, doing quite well collecting the treasure that I needed to win the game, and the 14 year old just walloped me, took all my treasure and left me cold. She went on to win the game. I was very upset. “Come on Jay, it’s just a game,” I’d tell myself. I got cranky anyway.
Later that night, after everyone went home and I was drifting off to sleep – in that state of half awake and half asleep, you know that state where ideas come? Something came to me. All these games we play, the goal is to win. We win and all our friends lose. We try to win the game at our friend’s expense. Doesn’t that suck? Can’t there be another way? That’s not the way I’m in relationship with these people in life, my family and friends. Yet when we sit down to play a game the dynamics of the relationship change. It’s us against them. Friends become enemies. Any other time I’d be there to support that person, have fun with them and be apart of their life. In the game, however, they are there to win over me and I’m there to win over them. I’d like a game that can reflect real life and mirror my real life relationships. So, I started inventing, in my mind, a different kind of game. The goal of the game would be to support others in winning as well as winning ourselves. Rather than the game being over when the first player wins, the game wouldn’t be over until everyone won. Imagine that, sitting around a table, playing a game supporting and empowering each other to win. A game like that would be just as fun and challenging. That sounds like the kind of game I’d like to play.