Connect[less] is a game about networking: a playful critical reflection on the self-improving and productive act of connecting with others in order to advance in your career and get access to work and money.
“Well, if you are a [well-connected] man, you will [network] from morning till night. When you [wake up], you [get outside], and when [you get there, you network - you meet people and you connect with them]. You do that right straight through the day. And what’s more, no back talk. Now a [well-connected] man does just what he’s [supposed] to do, and no back talk. Do you understand that?”
—I rephrased Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (1911) who was cited in Selfwork, Karen Gregory; Kirsty Hendry; Jake Watts; Dave Young February 02, 2017
The concept of meaningful work derailed outside the working hours and is haunting each moment of our lives - professional and personal. Over the course of a Century the way we work, connect and rest changed remarkably. At first, we tried to make each working minute productive by improving the process and production line. Later, the need of being productive collided with the need to develop a professional career with which we identify ourselves. Of course, our efforts to be better and improve ourselves slowly went outside our professional life (and the working hours) and the boundaries between personal and professional, between work and leisure, became blurrier and blurrier for various jobs and professions.
Networking is quite crucial for our work and success, isn't it? The better we are connected, the more opportunities we have. The more opportunities we get, the more chances we have to get work. Your success and wellbeing depend on how connected you are. The more, the merrier.
However, some of us might feel the pressure of being forced to constantly network and being out there to look for opportunities. The fear of missing out. The regret about opportunities never reached and taken. All the anxiety that those thoughts may bring.
In this silly game you and your partner(s) will explore ways to connect to other well-connected creatures like you (by each of you choosing one shape such as circles or squares). Whilst playing, you are invited to reflect on the need of networking and social work connections and a simple conversation while doodling some simple lines. Let's start: go to the rules of the game!
- Pick up a board for 2 or 3 players depending on how many you are.
- Each of you picks up one symbol (circle, square, triangle).
- Each player takes one turn one after another:
- With each turn connect two of your chosen symbols on the board and answer one of the reflection questions.
- The second player does the same, but can also already respond to what player 1 said.
- When everyone takes their first turn, they continue the line from the symbol they ended at the previous turn. Thus, you are already connecting a chain of your symbols.
- In order to connect your symbols, you should doodle a line between them. That line is not allowed to touch any other lines nor symbols, besides the two symbols it's connecting.
- You are not allowed to cross another connection either.
End of the game
The game ends for each player when they are stuck and not being able to connect any more symbols without crossing a line or touching other symbols or the borders of the board. When that happens for one player of two, the game ends. The one who cannot connect more loses the game. When the players are three, the other two players can continue until another one gets stuck in the same way. The winner is the one who is still able to connect more symbols.
If you touch other lines, symbols or the border of the game board whilst you are drawing your line, you loose the game immediately.
Who is the winner?
What if the winner is the one who is the first to leave the game? #PlotTwist
What would that change in the game? And what in real life?
[boards for download] There are boards for two or three players. If you wish to play longer, you can combine several boards in one, by ignoring the borderlines in this case. The original (first draft) boards are here: board for 3 players, board for 2 players.
[generate boards] You can also generate your own board with any symbols you wish to have. Just use this simple Python function here.
How to enjoy playing this game? Get a drink and sit down with your friend(s). Pick a board and start connecting the symbols you have selected. Whilst doing that, let’s talk about connections:
♟ What is networking for you?
♟ Is your work(life) dependant on networking? If yes, then how?
♟ How do you feel about networking?
♟ How important is networking for you personally?
♟ How are social connections important in your personal life?
♟ How do you network?
♟ Is it ok for you if you are not super connected to many people?
♟ What is your way to find work?
♟ What is your way to connect to others?
♟ Does networking bring any challenges for you?
♟ What does a networking opportunity mean to you?
♟ How do you feel when you are unable to take a networking opportunity?
♟ Would you like to ask your game partner anything else about networking and social connections?
The game was born during a prototype session with Manetta. The first prototype was played by Jian, Chae and Supi who provided invaluable feedback and encouraged its further development and life. Crafted by Ål Nik with the help of Python, Etherpad and Adobe Illustrator. Copyleft attitude with a difference: you are invited to share the publication or parts of it with others under the terms of the CC4r license https://constantvzw.org/wefts/cc4r.en.html
Selfwork by Karen Gregory; Kirsty Hendry; Jake Watts; Dave Young
We Are All Very Anxious by the Institute for Precarious Consciousness
Ål's personal life experiences.
You can download and print the game from our documentation webpage: