More and more these days, I am fascinated by the power and role of decisions. Decisions create buy-in, generate unexpected outcomes, and provide drama. As I’ve come to see it, most of all, decisions provide meaning.

But not all decisions create meaning—to do that, a decision needs to be personal, needs to have weight, and has to be visible. Each of these things is challenging to engineer reliably. I’ve been trying to take stock of what works for me. This is what I’ve come up with so far.

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A game needs to ask questions. For example, Dogs in the Vineyard asks some powerful questions about faith and judgment and mercy. But a game also needs to provide answers to some questions, a very mundane and specific bunch.

The questions are these:

  1. What do I do first?
  2. What do I do now?
  3. When do I stop?

Let me take each one in turn.

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