A Hey Good Game manifesto
Published Jun 7, 2023
A few friends from college and startups decided to crash an AirBnb for a weekend and talk Web3. None of us need another K-1. Yet, as we discussed the dynamics of this new ‘web,’ we wondered… what if…
There was talk about a trading bot. Because, why not? It’s just so captivating. Yet, that discussion and practice is more about how to curb transaction fees.
There was talk about a few different projects and the NFT’s we own. We wondered about swapping verbs (e.g. walking, reading) in to various systems and how that might work. We were stunned when gas fees spiked over $6k because of the punk land sale. And we started to rally around the idea of a game studio.
Now, gamification is wicked powerful. It keeps us sucked into our social feeds. It keeps us playing our games too. One of us has a 20+min daily average on a quick chess game. One of us has a 5M plus page view per month game website - built years ago and in operation today. One of us loves building things… coding things - the nitty gritty. And one of us is just all around curious about nearly everything and sharing about it.
So, how would we put game mechanics, our experiences and expertise and Web3 together? We know games can be addictive through experience and our own property analytics. How could we wrap it all in good?
As we swapped verbs around for ecosystems and platforms to gamify it’s not hard to affirm “fitness” or “reading” when building something addictive like gamified web3. But, gaming?
Gaming can have a bad rap. “Don’t game me 'bro.” So, what are the good parts of games? Why do they make us happy so predictably? So reliably? Why do we play them and want to keep playing? Could some of that be turned more good?
In our search for anchoring in the game sphere we remembered a book from back in the day, Reality is Broken, from 2011; by Jane McGonigal and found this quote:
“Games make us happy because it’s hard work that we choose for ourselves.”
That sounds good. Often, it seems a game is escape. We play and skip things. We detach. We don’t get our work done. But what if it’s not all of that? What if we’re using a faulty frame to describe all of game play as a waste. Play is not the opposite of work.
“The opposite of work isn’t play. It’s depression.”
Well… that sounds good. Let’s pay!
So, we kept reading Jane’s book.
“A game is an opportunity to focus our energy with relentless optimism on some thing we’re good at or getting better at and enjoy. In other words game play is the direct emotional opposite of depression.”
Fantastic. And, if that were not enough, Jane goes on.
“When you’re totally engaged you’re actively moving yourself towards the positive end of the emotional spectrum. This is the right frame of mind and physical condition to generate all kinds of positive emotions. All of the physical and neurological systems that underlie happiness - attention systems, reward systems, motivation systems, our emotion and memory centers - are all fully activated by gameplay.”
The above has us reframing our thinking about building a gaming studio in Web3. It has the potential to be for good and not the typical negative label given to digital “gaming” vs. sport gaming.
Jane goes on…
“This is why our games are so addictive and mood boosting.”
“When we are in a concentrated state of optimistic engagement it suddenly becomes biologically more possible for us to think positive thoughts. To make social connections and to build personal strengths. We are actively conditioning our minds and bodies to be happier. Hard work that other people require us to do doesn’t trigger our happiness systems in the same way.”
“When we do hard work that we care about we are priming our minds for happiness.”
So, there we have it. Games can make us happy. Who doesn’t want more of that?
So, now, join us as we push a bit on what it might look like to build a web3 game studio - and we make a few people happier, including ourselves.
Stay tuned to follow Hey Good Game around the socials, on discord, etc. once we have them built. :)
Have a game to sell?
Let’s find out if we play well together.