So I’m at training for the camp I’m working at this summer. It’s fantastic. Two days in and I already feel at home and on my way to a new and better direction. Anyway, we played this game called Cat and Mouse as part of the initiatives part of training (initiatives are kind of like team-building exercises).
Cat and Mouse is played like this: Everyone has a dot in a circle that they stand on. There is one person in the middle. The “mice” standing on the circles cannot talk. The “cat,” who is the person standing in the middle, can. The only way the cat can become a mouse is to steal another mouse’s dot when they vacate it. That’s pretty much it.
When you play, you look for other people to switch with you. You make eye contact, nod your head, or sometimes you just run at them. Some people will run every time you come to them, even if their chance of getting another dot is hopeless. Some won’t run even when you’ve established that it’s going to happen. Sometimes someone thinks they’ve established that they’re both running and one person hasn’t gotten the memo.
But there are a few things that stand out to me in this game. In a strange way it simulates life. First of all, there is no rule that says you HAVE to move. In fact, the mice could stay safe on their own pads for forever. But that’s no fun for ANYONE.
Second, sometimes you take risks and you fail. And sometimes when you fail, you have just as much fun trying to get out of your failure as you did getting into it. Being the cat for a while was actually a little fun.
Third. The game is fun. Even with no debrief, no deeper thought, it’s a really fun and simple game. But taking it to that next level. Doing something that lasts more than just a few minutes, a few hours, a moment. That’s what the real goal is.
And it makes me think: How much of these three things do I do?