“Games teach us ‘something’, the matter of the question is what that ‘something’ is?” As my friend and former colleague was fond of saying. Our question, “What are we learning from our physical games?” Many physical games (sports) were originally applied games, meant for archaic martial training (e.g. wrestling, polo, football, field and track, etc.). Ultimately, what I would like us to think about is the design of applied physical games (with or without the aid of new technology) that is aimed at really solving the problems we believe that physical games can solve (i.e. obesity, social problems, etc.) but actually do not. An applied game is a game designed with an ulterior motive, usually aimed at changing the behavior, perspectives or knowledge of the player. My theory is that a well designed applied physical game, not unlike the arguments for using video games , could also be a force for changing our world.
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