Besiege was brought to my attention by MDR.

In our world computers are glued shut, cars run on magic, and the idea of messing around with technology is abandoned in favor of the all-powerful warranty. Today we have lost our appetite for seeing how things work, but I’m hopeful that Besiege will bring back that joy by showing us that when things go wrong it’s not always a failure.

Just get the job done

Besiege is a game about trying to make the best gadget to complete a certain goal; that’s it. You are free to choose from cannons, flying contraptions, and other assorted hinges and wheels to make your machine. At first it could even seem  daunting; what am I supposed to do with all of this freedom? What could I possibly make to complete this challenge? Before you even have a chance to play you may choose to leave it at that; to be scared of it and leave the game alone, to call Besiege dumb because it felt stupid.

The real emotion that is gnawing at you is Fear.

You are letting the thoughts of the unknown stop you from going forward; uncertainty has you crippled. So you turn back to a more familiar world, one with less risks. A world with no growth and little knowledge. 

The art of messing with things, not just breaking them

Now, tinkering is a process. It’s not just messing around blindly. It is experimenting with things in multiple ways to see how the objects react under different circumstances .

First, you have to identify the purpose of the object in game; you see the cannon, place it where it fits best, and fire it. Now you have learned a couple of things like how the cannon ball flies out of the cannon and how far back your contraption recoils. With this new information you can figure out how to use the cannon better.

Next, you have to get used to failure. When you are trying to build your contraption sometimes it doesn’t come out how you thought it would, and that’s okay! Now you know more about how that thing does not work, and that is a plus in knowledge.

Finally take everything you have learned from tinkering and come up with the best possible solution for the challenge.

File:The state tinkers LCCN92518061.jpg

Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_state_tinkers_LCCN92518061.jpg

The Life Lesson

First thing, don’t let fear control what you should be doing. Anytime you try something new, whether it be learning a new language or trying to figure out how the newest mobile phone works, you have to mess around with it. If you are content to stay on the paved road then you may never discover the full potential of anything.  Of course, there is a time to be cautious, too. You shouldn’t be tinkering with something that’s too dangerous, like, for example, the server at a nuclear power plant.

So keep on tinkering—thoughtfully.

Until Monday,

Evin