For about a month now, I’ve been taking a game design class through General Assembly. There is so much to learn, many interesting readings, and discussions in response to the readings, and surprisingly complex class projects. We meet Wednesday nights and Sundays, but on top of all the hours I spent working on the game, it makes for a really long week, which …oh! A slightly-younger version of me, waitressing and depressed, just created a time machine, opened a rift in space and time, and stuck her hand through to flip me off for complaining about that!
It’s a surprisingly hard class sometimes, defining these massive philosophy questions about what constitutes a game and what creates fun. I’ve been really delighted to learn vocabulary for phenomena I’ve recognized, and been unable to define clearly. We’re asked to prototype games for assignments, and I’m surprised at how wide the gap can be between my intentions and what I’ve actually built with dice and pencil and rules. I’m almost embarrassed by how hard it can be, because solving design challenges is a large part of my work, it’s what I do every day.
On Sundays, I brave the weekend G train into Manhattan, since class meets right off Times Square, and I’m getting another space-time middle finger for complaining about this. Our instructors have organized a different student to bring coffee and donuts each week, so we have sugar and caffeine while we talk about games.
This time, my classmate brought in Dunkin’ Donuts donut holes and coffee in that cardboard carton with the plastic cap. The coffee container was leaking, but before too much coffee made it out and on to the table, my entire class leapt into action, quickly proposing a series of solutions, suggesting we turn the carton upside down, repurpose the water pitcher, find and repair the leak. (My plan, to all drink as much coffee as possible so there was nothing left to spill, failed to gain popular support.) The coffee was sorted in about a minute, because this is a room full of insanely creative problem-solvers, and I am so fortunate to be included.