How filling life with play—whether soccer or lawn mowing, counting sheep or tossing Angry Birds—forges a new path for creativity and joy in our impatient age.
Life is no game. It’s demanding, boring, and rarely fun. But what if we’ve got games wrong? Playing anything—whether an instrument, a sport, or a video game—takes hard work and makes absurd demands. Where’s the fun in that?
In Play Anything, acclaimed philosopher and award-winning game designer Ian Bogost reveals that play isn’t a mindless escape from boring reality. Instead, play is what happens when we accept limitations, narrow our focus, and—consequently—have fun. Which is also how to live a good life. Manipulating cards to make a poker hand is no different than treating chores and obligations as tools but which we can discover new happiness.
Ranging from Internet culture to moral philosophy, from ancient poetics to modern consumerism, Play Anything reveals how today’s chaotic world can only be tamed—and enjoyed—when we first impose boundaries on ourselves.
As a Brazilian game designer, I like to discuss and bring some Brazilian gaming examples to this blog. Today, I want to talk about Horizon Chase, one very cool game that is a tribute to classic arcade racers.
Created by Aquiris Games Studio and launched in 2015, the game won many prizes and it’s a master class on how to use mobile media to give players a good experience. Check the trailer and gameplay below:
Some important game features to highlight: 1) Horizon Chase is a causal game and its gameplay is created in a simple and intuitive way; 2) Graphics are completely adjusted to the gameplay – the roads, cars and landscapes work together in a very intuitive mechanics; 3) Freeware model for gaming distribution (the studio created this product to win prizes and acquire “symbolic currency”); 4) Horizon Chase dialogues with new and old gamers with its retro mechanics, with a cool, modern layout.
The Brazilian gaming market is coming up with great ideas every year and mobile platforms are a good possibility for many companies. We don’t have a triple A industry here, but there are other options to show the work to the world.
Click here to access the site and download it for free on Apple and Android platforms.