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Distraction!

The Basics
Distraction is a game where one single player is in control of the main playing piece, a pawn in the shape of a small person. The game board, as represented in the image included, functions similarly to that of the 1970’s video game Snake. The brain in this scenario has been challenged to accomplish as many tasks in a given amount of time as possible. To accomplish tasks, one must avoid coming into contact with distractions that will hinder movement and speed. To move the pawn, use the four arrow keys on the keyboard (up, down, left, right). The distractions include icons representing Facebook, twitter, blogs, music, verbal communication (cell phones, friends, etc.), email, and Wikipedia. As the person moves about the screen, their intention is collect as many stars , or accomplishments, as possible by walking through them. As accomplishments are collected, the player’s score in the left corner will increase by 10 points per star. With each distraction contacted, the player will be hindered by an “x” that will attach itself to the player somewhere around its person. The x’s hinder the player’s performance, as they create additional area that can collide with distractions. Each level is completed by the collection of all accomplishments. Upon completion of the level, the player will advance one level further. Each subsequent level contains both more distractions and more accomplishments to be completed or collected in a proportional amount of time. The game does not have a finish, but victory is awarded to those who beat the current highest score.

Analysis: 

The purpose of this game is to show how easily distracted the current generation of people is. With every assignment we are given, we either brush it aside immediately saying we will complete it at a later date, or we convince ourselves that as soon as we return to our dorm/apartment/house, we will start and finish it in a timely manner. Come the return to our home, however, we turn on our computer, return that text message that buzzed as we opened the door, make ourselves dinner, open our emails, return emails, start up iTunes, check Facebook, and finally, maybe, open the assignment or remind ourselves that it exists. I am not immune to this problem which is part of why I am so intrigued by our easily distracted personalities. A professor of mine from the Education Department had us complete a task in class where we drew out what our computer screen would look like if we were researching the history of America. Many of us had just one article or scholarly site open. But those of us who were honest? There were multiple tabs open in multiple windows with additional programs open along the task bar at the bottom. The current generation of people is incapable of not multitasking. Something within us must think that we’re wasting time by not acting on multiple actions at once. Thus, the birth of this game. By moving yourself around, you are determined to finish your tasks and collect stars, but by the nature of the game, to do so, you suffer distractions. By "opening" email you are distracted. By "using" Wikipedia, you are distracted. Through our inability to not be connected to all 458 of our friends at once, we have Facebook open or someone is chatting you up through Facebook or your phone, it may even be your roommate on the couch next to you. I suppose the simple purpose of this game is to argue that we’re easily distracted and once we start, it’s hard to get back to the task at hand. We move slower when distracted; it takes us longer to complete tasks and achieve goals. Hopefully, by playing this game, people will understand that they are all too distracted and will consciously work to limit their distractions by changes habits such as turning off the internet when not needed or by giving designated and timed breaks away from work which devoting the remaining time to actual work. It's a long shot, but I know I've been consciously trying to finish tasks on time despite my inexplicable obsession with Tumblr.

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