126/365 – Meditation Games #126 – Fishing For Connections

Developer Credits: Kyle Olson, John Detioff

Launcher Quote: “It’s not just about catching fish; it’s about connecting.”

I’ve always been a fan of games that use another medium that on its surface appears to be one type of game but is really sending or communicating another message through its mechanics. With one of the concepts of this series being that most of it has to be non-verbal and speak through the way that it’s presented, it makes this little practice even more interesting in terms of the kinds of ideas that can be communicated to players.

The launcher quote and accompanying fishing game that Kyle and John put out is a really neat example of this. It took me a bit to get the idea down, of using the right lures and hooks to make the right connections to the right types of fish to succeed, but when I did so, I found a really interesting game within a game presentation. On the surface it is most certainly a fishing game but on another level it is a way of presenting the common matching and  removing games that have been popularized amongst a bunch of older gamers with Bejeweled and Candy Crush and the like.  When these multi-faceted games are played, you’re actually accomplishing two goals – that of the surface game of catching the fish but also the matching objective of catching them in the right and connected way.  It made figuring out the game all the more fun.

On a deeper level you could say that a message is being sent about the value of connections when doing certain activities. If you’ve ever been on a fishing trip, like I have been, rarely are the trips about actually catching tons of fish (although doing so is obviously something that carries its own degree of satisfaction). It’s always been about some kind of connection, whether that is in solitude by yourself with doing something in connection with nature, or with talking with and spending time with those that accompany you if you go with others, deepening social bonds and connections on that level. If you’ve never been on a fishing trip, take any other activity that you might engage in where the goal isn’t necessarily just to achieve a surface objective (a simple dinner out achieves an objective of feeding oneself, for example) but to have it mean something more (dinner deepens a connection with someone by allowing engagement in conversation that allows people to get to know each other better). It’s a reminder about remembering not just why you do something but what it means.

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