The Bus Game
Hits 4958 | Created 2007-05-16 | Modified 2007-05-16Unsure when, or why, this was written
A game that I invented and believe that I alone play (but in reality is probably played by thousands of others around the world who also labour under the illusion that they invented it) is the Bus Game, or the Train Game, or the Metro Game - you get the idea. In any situation where I am faced with a long and tedious journey or wait and am surrounded by a number of stangers, this is the ideal way for me to pass the time.
It is a child's game, that it, I started to play it when I was a child. The idea is simple, you imagine yourself and everyone else on the bus, or train carriage etc, suddenly transported to an isolated place with no hope of rescue or contact with the outside world. Say, as pioneers on Mars, or standed on a desert island, or back in time in pre-historic times. The idea is then to simply create a new, somewhat small, but functioning society using all the people on the bus.
Looking around at all the people, I'm normally struck at how unsuited the majority of them are to life in our new environment, and how most of them will struggle terribly and even be more of a burden then an asset. Pampered, unfit, used to luxurious living and lack of effort and trial, soft hands clutching mobile phones. I normally pick out the strongest looking physical men first (occasionally women too) and play through the inevitable struggle for dominace over the group that would occur. Then I look around at the most attractive looking women and try and decide who would end off with who. If there are a lack of younger women then this normally presents a problem and I imagine murderous fights taking place over them.
Next there is the constuction of shelter from local materials, the making of fire, collection of food, making of clothing, beginnings of farming, the finding and raising of livestock and the organisation of the group. Time can be taken to ponder alternative social structures, rather than the traditional private ownership model. Democracy was unlikely, given time, would the leader be selected by strength alone? If I was unable to dominate the group, or the group turned out to be unbearable (for example, the bus load of people are all on the way to a Christian conference), then would I take to the hills and try to live alone?
Children become an interesting problem too - if there are less women then men, then men would have to share women, and if there more women than men, then women share men (neither a very popular system, but in the latter the men would tend not to kill each other). Social structures would have to be very different when it came to our idea of morals and marriage.
Each bus-load of people presents a different scenario, but in each one I tend to find myself, eventually, living happily in a little shack with (usually) the prettiest of the women (unless she betrays some terrible character defect on the bus), passing my days growing crops, hunting, building little fences and raising little children. This then makes me wonder - if I spend so long contemplating this fantasy, then is it perhaps what I really want out of life anyway? Should this situation be my goal?
These fanasies are often interrupted by dinosaur, shark or alien attacks for a while, where all the men (and perhaps some of the women) grab home-made spears and dash off to battle. This, however, is merely a hangover from the origins of the game, in my youth.