I’ve got a lot of single-player experiences on my phone. Stuff I do by myself, essentially. Either meditating in the morning, playing a little puzzle, or writing a note to myself.
This isn’t exactly a groundbreaking finding, and it’s a little trite to exclaim, “BUT OUR PHONES WERE MEANT TO CONNECT US! ISN’T IT IRONIC??”
But also… it kind of is?
Community is a real thing with real benefits. Hopefully you know the power of doing something simple in the presence of other people. For me, I experience this most tangibly at my sangha - my meditation circle. It’s so much richer to be in the presence of other people than it is to be doing literally the exact same thing by myself.
It’s not like with soccer or something where I actually need other people to play a full game. We’re literally just sitting there not saying anything. I could 100% just as well do that by myself!
But we’re together. So it’s different :-)
There’s probably people 10x smarter than I am who know why we conceive of our phones as solo experiences. As designers, it’s so easy and utilitarian to say, “well, only one person is holding this very thing and pressing these buttons at a time so… let’s only think of that single person!”
But the benefits are almost immeasurable when we expand beyond that limiting belief.
We can have presence, support, and community. When there’s real interaction, there’s benefits beyond what you could even possibly imagine because start doing things with each other that are actually totally impossible predict! It’s pretty amazing.
But you don’t have to start designing that just yet 😊
For now, just hit reply to this email and tell me, what’s your favorite multiplayer app? What does it do well? Where does it fall short?
Maybe we have the same one :-)