DIY Game Theory


Play many different games. Play them physically. Play with as many people as you can. 

Maybe this will be organized into a book or more comprehensive concept one day, but for now, this is an ongoing exploration of a theory on how to play games to improve our lives...the DIY Game Theory.

Why Games?

Games offer the opportunity to teach ourselves about...

• shared rules, fair and respectful play
• teamwork
• logic and probability
• tactics and strategy
• focus and attention span
• risk management
• creativity and vision
• patience
• perspective
• tenacity and grit
• human behavior
• anticipation and pressure
• the joy of victory and agony of defeat
• empathy
• humor
• wisdom
• acceptance
• gratitude and appreciation

and more...!

Ideally these lessons and experiences can help people with...

• depression and detachment
• isolation and loneliness
• victimization / blame
• anger / frustration
• projection
• denile
• poor self image


DIY...Do-It-Yourself vs digital / mobile / video games

Physically • Mentally • Socially

Own and earn your experience! By taking on more ownership of your gaming experience (Do It Yourself), you will get more joy, pride, and achievement from playing. You'll built better and more meaningful relationships with others and build a more positive self image.

Build your own game kit (dice, game pieces, game table), print out your game boards, roll your dice, shuffle your cards, move your pieces, keep score, interact in-person in real time with people face to face.

One of my DIY gaming goals to play 1000 different analog games! 

Play many different games.
It's great to have your old favorites, but learning new games, developing your skills, and adding adventure to your life is even better. 

Play them physically.
Analog instead of digital. Enjoying the physical aspects of DIY gaming adds a whole level of experience to playing games. 

Play with as many people as you can. 
Play with a friend, have a family game night, find a board game group! Playing with people live and in person builds connection, relationships, shared experiences, 

Playing a card or board games with my wife and kids is the best way I can count on having a big group laugh, a surprise outburst, or wild exchange. As life grows and changes, sharing happy memories with the people in your life is something worth making happen.


Digital/mobile/video games
Reward algorithms, explosive visual graphics, sound fx, ai characters, digital prizes, and more, are programed to give a maximum addictive experience, passively 
consumed by moving a few fingers and staring at a screen.


Don't get me wrong, I think digital games are amazing and are tremendous examples of creative and technical achievements, but we need to take the good with the not so good...

If you've played a good digital game or watched a family member, you know when players slip into "the zone" or "automatic pilot". Minutes can turn into hours. You are not thinking or engaged as much as you are unconsciously reacting out of habit or following the path laid before you. The huge rewards for simple tasks become less fulfilling and even unnoticed.

What might be great for 1/2 hour starts to become a waste of time for several hours or even effect your experience of life as a whole. 

I don't take any offense to my kids being unreasonably irritable for at least 15 min after getting off their devices - because they are still in "instant-reward brain".

 For more information regarding digital / mobile / video game mental health issues, please check out the links below.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ LINK

  • Video games use psychological tricks to be habit-forming.
  • Self-professed "gaming addicts" report similar experiences to people addicted to other substances.
  • Video game playing is associated with less brain activity in certain regions.
  • Video games appear to be addictive, so "gaming disorder" may meet the criteria for an official diagnosis.


World Health Organization LINK

Addictive behaviours: Gaming disorder
22 October 2020 | Q&A


Harvard Health Publishing LINK

"More than two-thirds of Americans play video games, also known as gaming. While gaming can be a fun distraction or hobby (and is even becoming a competitive sport on many college campuses), there are health risks that come from too much gaming. What are these harms, and what can be done about them?"