Not long ago I happened upon an online game called Agario - or at least that seems to be what people are calling it - agar.io is the domain name. If you haven't seen this game yet, give it a try. There is no friction to get started. There is no signup or registration, just like many of our sites, - just enter a nickname and start playing.
I've been told it is a bit similar to a game called Spore. But it is online and multi-player - with very simple graphics (mostly circles). There is no commentary on the site itself, leaving the "storyline" up to speculation. Are the circles cells? blobs? Is that confetti all over the place? Or dots? Or food? Who knows..?
Its a decidedly minimalist affair. And that extends to intra-game communication. Each player is allowed to name their cell/blob/circle - but that is the only chance you have to "say" anything. All other forms of communication must occur just by actions, which are also pretty minimal – you can only move, spit out a bit of your mass, or split your cell in two. Try gaining someone's trust, teaming up with them, and executing an attack strategy with that limited vocabulary! (No, really, go try it - its challenging, illuminating, and fun!)
In fact, while playing the game, I often found myself somewhat fascinated by how such a surprisingly basic game manages to surface so much behavioral psychology and in turn convey some powerful axioms of life.
Here are 7 of them:
Well, those are the life lessons that came to mind for me. I think I had a few others as well, but just as in life, I forgot them. ;-)
If you have played Agario and learned (or recognized) some truths that extend beyond the game, let me know in the comments!