After an experience on a cruise ship as a teenager, I was very skeptical of hypnosis. But then last year, I started seeing a hypnotist to help with my chronic headaches, and she really helped me. I recorded one of our sessions together, and for a long time, lying down and playing that calming recording was my first line of defense against a budding headache. I was shocked at how often what I had previously thought was “definitely going to turn into a full-blown awful headache” would dissipate with simply some focused rest. That I had a tool in my bag besides pills was honestly a revelation.
Last week, I started a new game for The Gentle Issue and made great progress. I fleshed out the idea, sketched out a roadmap, and began coding. It’s a game about frogs and snow globes and taking breaks, and I really liked where it was heading.
After I got all the basic systems in the place, I stepped back and took a look at the little pond I had created.
And neither is my computer! Woo-hoo! Isn’t that great? I thought they were definitely both going to die, but then they didn’t. I’m so relieved. Aren’t you?
OK, let’s back up a minute and answer some questions first.
1) Why was my computer going to die? Because I like to stay hydrated that’s why and last week I spilled an entire Nalgene that’s constantly by my side right onto my laptop. It was disastrous and hilarious (in a disastrous sort of way).
Coming in early June, get ready for The Gentle Issue. Get calmly ready. No need to clap or stamp your feet. Just take a minute and envision it. Inhale and picture the email arriving in your inbox. Exhale and imagine opening the issue in your browser. The issue is soft, and the games are welcoming.
The Gentle Issue goes slowly and is full of self-compassion. The Gentle Issue takes breaks. The Gentle Issue knows when enough is enough and that it can’t do everything. The Gentle Issue forgives.
Well shit. Last night, the Washington Wizards lost the second game of their best-of-seven playoff series against the Boston Celtics. The Wizards are my favorite team, and now it’s looking like their season is going to end soon. It was a bummer. They had an open shot at the buzzer to win it, but they missed it, and they lost. Waaah. Booo. I was sad.
And this morning, I woke up upset with myself. I was upset that I was bummed. Why was my mood so affected by something that feels juvenile and silly and inconsequential and creates tension in my house? By something that I have absolutely no control over?
I had a conversation with a friend this weekend about in-school social workers using Wide Open Games in their work with adolescent boys. My friend was saying how the games could help start conversations in a way that regular talk therapy sometimes struggles to with teenage boys. I love this idea, and it’s not something I would’ve ever thought of on my own.
I’m really excited to participate in #LD38 this weekend. Game jams are great opportunities to learn and try something new. They can also be huge invitations to get competitive, jealous, and overworked. Here is my advice won over multiple jams on how to maintain a balanced life while having a hugely successful game jam.
First, set some real goals.
I just released The Friends Issue this past Tuesday, and listen up: I LOVE IT. It’s great. It’s amazing. The games inside are some of my best work yet. Lemme tell y’all why I love it so.
🚨🚨 Announcing! A new game! 🚨🚨
This is a game about gratitude for good friends. About some folks who came and lightened my load when things were really heavy. They came in 12 hour car trips, and planes from New York, and in care packages from I don’t even know where, and this piece is saying thank you.
And what better way to say it than with inch worms?
It’s part of the upcoming Friends Issue, and you can look for it this coming April. If you want to say thank you to some friends yourself, maybe this is the inch-sized push you need.