Once Upon a Gamified Interstate

It was a dark and lengthy car ride. I had two and a half hours of nighttime driving ahead of me and I’d had a long day. I needed to stay alert, but my usual staples (cranking up the A/C and putting on high energy music) weren’t enough. I needed something more. So I came up with a game and started playing it right then and there in my car.

Goal of the Game

Arrive at my destination safely.


I must follow the standard rules of the road.

How to Play

Make sure I have somewhere to go in case something happens. For example, there must be an open lane to merge into and/or enough distance to rapidly slow down or speed up to avoid an accident. There must be at least one “escape route” at all times.

Wow, did that make a difference! Consciously giving myself a continuous goal was engaging beyond a normal drive. I didn’t “zone out” the way people tend to on long trips. If I didn’t have any escape routes I actively looked for them and worked to create them. If I had at least one I was constantly checking to see if anything was threatening it or if any additional options had opened up.

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