This was probably the most challenging game for me to design so far. I went through several iterations and different ideas. Initially, I had wanted to create a game based on an appropriation of beer pong, but switching the ping pong balls out for fortune cookies.
However, one day I found myself buried in work cranking out an all-nighter and realized that I needed an intervention myself. Therefore, I thought maybe I could try what I always do, but with other late-night workers — take a break and enjoy a beer.
In my spare time, I work on my own startup out of CIC, which is a coworking space located in downtown Boston. I’m surrounded by other startup founders and teams, but I find us all working on our own projects and often forgetting to take the time to relax in between the long hours.
I decided to start by going around the floor every 30 min to offer everybody a glass of wine and chat for a bit. This went surprisingly well as most people were very welcoming and open to the idea. I got to learn a lot about the other startups around me and made several friends out of this exercise.
From here on, I decided to take the intervention a step further by inviting people to join me at my favorite bar downstairs for a beer. Thus physically relocating them to a new space with a new experience. I had this idea because I learned about a theory in my psychology classes with regards to spatial familiarity. This theory states that people that perform certain tasks consistently in the same setting tend to find it easier to “get in the zone,” but also harder to disintegrate themselves from it. I thought that in order to truly get someone to take a break and relax from work, that I would have to bring them to a different setting where their mindset would adjust easier.
There was understandably less success in this attempt as it required people to commit and invest more effort in this intervention. However, I still managed to convince two startup founders to join me at the Ginger Man (the bar) and share a beer. Although I didn’t get as many people involved, I definitely found the intervention quality to have improved. Both gentlemen that joined me thanked me for the gesture and offered to pay for my drink.
I thought that this intervention was a very interesting psychology experiment for me. It’s nice to see that my own methods of coping and intervening with stress could also benefit others. I will definitely consider continuing something in a similar capacity in the future.