By Max Lombor
Jenga and Lego. Two AWESOME games. That represent two very different things for me; balance, and a lack of it. The final throws of SCA are no game, which is exactly why I am describing them as one.
By trivialising the true intensity of this course, I just might make it to the end. By numbing the supposed severity of the challenge that lies ahead is the only way to continuously tread creative water, and stay childish. Hey there little reader, I heard you loved short essay style analogies that waffle on and don’t really state anything with any conviction. WELL, have I got a treat for YOU…
Jenga isn’t fun. Not REALLY. It’s more anxiety driven. You’re more likely to look like a muppet with a game of Jenga. It all builds up like a crescendo, until the inevitable crash. If the bricks were heavier it would be called controlled demolition. Most of the time, I feeling like I’m having a game of Jenga. Building that tower is getting all of the campaign logic in place, making it air tight, concrete. Then you are pleased with yourself, you’ve done the hard graft. Then everyone else, including yourself, begin to chip away at that tower. Exposing holes and crumbling it down to its bare foundation, the mere ‘core thought’ that runs as its scaffolding.
We do this rigorous interrogation of our own creation in the hope of building a sturdier tower, a stronger idea. But, something is missing with Jenga. No matter how many times you play, you always build back up the tower in the same way, 3 by 3, layer by layer. So there is no change in your thinking, you’re sole intent is therefore to re create what you already had, but a bit faster this time. This is why I can’t play anymore Jenga. It’s so damn addictive, it’s so easy, it requires no lateral thought.
Now here’s why Lego is essential gameplay in stressful times. You begin the game by making something, you just create out of thin air. No proposition, insight, organising thought or even a thought you quite understand. Just a spark. One brick on another. Nobody else needs to be present, your mind doesn’t even need to be active. Using colour combinations, you construct natural phenomena. You build your own beauty, with a very vague idea of your end goal.
As you construct your masterpiece, it changes, morphs and manipulates. It allows itself breaks. It allows input, and it constantly requires fresh perspectives and varying angles. No matter what you’ve created, if feels right for you, and others tend to be convinced of your vision.
This is the real clincher for me, have you noticed that mad European thing of people keeping lego statues in their house? You see, that settles it for me, ‘Lego ideas’ stand the test of time. They are inherently creative, with flow at their bases. With a malleable structure that everyone can attach their own meaning to, like a cloud.
This is why Lego sales smash the crap out of Jenga. This is why there is no JengaLand. This is why I’ll always play with Lego.