General purpose for changing a game (your life)

I was recently reading through Bernard DeKoven’s seminal book The Well-Played Game: a player’s philosophy, while searching for a clarification on a quote for a book chapter I am writing, when I encountered something worth sharing. First of all, the book is from 1978, and the copy that our university library has is not only dog-eared but actually broken – the cover is loose and the book holds together only with some rubber band (helpfully provided by the said university library). Well, as you can imagine, old books like this often contain notes scribbled throughout their pages, marks of long-gone students who have once tried to make points worth remembering. It was one such a note that I am now talking about. On pages 67-68 of the book there is a section titled “General Purpose for Changing a Game:” Behind this title some industrious student had made a small addition, and it is with this addition that I now present you a quote that can change your life (or at least advice you on how to go about changing your life).

General Purpose for Changing a Game: (Your Life*)

The one you’re playing is no longer giving you enough of a challenge for you to feel you want to play it well. ou can play it well, but you’re losing interest. Your gaming mind is bored. You’re not playing the way you want to be playing. Or, vice versa, you can’t play it well, the challenge is too big, your playing mind is overwhelmed, the game is too hard. The general purpose for changing a game, therefore, is to restore equilibrium.

Specific Recommendation for Technique:

Change one rule at a time. Change the rule and see what happens to the rest of the game. See what other changes you have to make in order to restore the balance. If you try to change too many rules, and the game doesn’t work, you won’t be able to tell why.

(* Student addition)

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