I was telling my good lady wife about a chance meeting I had with Dr Gill Hicks in the bushes of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, while discussing her 2021 Adelaide Fringe show, Alive And (still kicking).
She has long been an admirer of Dr Gill’s and she relayed to me something that had come up in conversation when some faculty members dropped in with their teenage offspring on Friday evening.
That night, my love poured cold water on a heated conversation among the children who were bragging about how many people they’re able to kill in Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Even the younger tots were proudly bragging about their gun toting skills in Murder Mystery 2 and Shark Bite.
My good lady wife interrupted and said to them, did they realise that when they take someone’s life, just as the London Bombing terrorists almost did with Dr Gill Hicks, they are wiping out decades of love and care and nurture and hurt and lessons.
She explained that this is why she is not a fan of shooting games because there are no consequences after killing someone or being killed oneself.
I turned to some MBA Thinking, to see if I could find a way to harness the curiosity and drive of these young ones while honouring the truth of such situations.
And the answer is a game concept called One Time Round.
One Time Round – The shooting game with depth and consequences
I discerned that what was missing in these games was firstly the lack of gravity surrounding getting killed; you wait a moment then spring back to life.
The second flaw was the lack of humanity or empathy for the people you are killing.
I bounced this off some accounting students who were doing an elective in our commercial kitchen today called, Cooking The Books – Recipes That Never Fail, and they told me there were some games already that went part way towards my vision.
But none of them capture the truth of the shooting experience; the long, slow process of growing up, the training regimes in how to use weapons in your army, and then the unbridled vigiliance one must live by in armed conflict.
My MBA Tested concept involves the following and our sister enterprise – MBA Games – would be open to licencing this.
One Time Round – The essentials
When you buy the game and start it, you enter your place of birth, some details about your parents, and your name.
Then, over the next day, you age one year. in that time, you are completely reliant upon your parents or single parent or foster parent or orphanage staff or street people. You have little ability to impact anything and there’s always the risk of abandonment or sickness.
In each of the next 15 days, you age one year per 24 hours and gradually gain the ability to eat solids, speak, move, learn, etc, culminating in an array of joy and sorry and sports and hobbies.
You must also watch the prescribed amount of television, according to the norms in your birth nation, as well as experiencing all the mundane elements of life including traffic jams, bushfires, and being stuck next to “that uncle” at family events.
This continues until you decide to enlist in the army, get forcefully conscripted, or fall into a militia, mafia, or extremist gang.
You then must try to do as much training as possible before live combat is thrust upon you.
All along this journey, life could end at any moment with a car accident, premature involvement in armed conflict, or failing to scan the QR code in front of a zealous Covid Marshall.
And if you get injured, you must spend your remaining days doing rehabilitation to the point of being honourably discharged and finding a job.
If you get killed, your game is locked and becomes unplayable forever. To play again, you buy again.
Do you like this concept?
While we’re not sure that savvy game developers like Shane Yeend from Imagination will give this the nod, I believe there might be a niche out there among wealthy gamers who enjoy excruciatingly detailed and procedural German board games.
In the meantime, I am going to ask my students to test it and my good lady wife says if I bring home a prototype she’ll let me have a play bed, and she might also have a hand in the outcome.
On that note, thank you Dr Gill Hicks for inspiring us to keep playing in this game of life and to value all experiences, even ones as fleeting as A Lunchtime MBA.
May you be alive (and still kicking) for many more rolls of the dice!