Something New — A Game For Walks

Sometimes I play a game I call Something New. All you need to play is a route that you find yourself walking/driving/biking along regularly. The goal of the game is to spot something new every time you take that route. Something you’ve never noticed before: a building, a color, a shape, a tree, a bump in the road — anything really.

I’ve been playing this game for several years. I love it because it feels like it shouldn’t work. If you commute the same way to work every day you feel like you should know what’s on that route. But most often your default experience is forgetting it even happened. You get in your car and suddenly you’re wherever you’re going. Days blend into months, months into etc.

Playing Something New grants experience the sheen of freshness most often associated with travel. The mundane becomes the “I never noticed that”. You’ll look at a house and realize you’d never looked at it before. You start noticing all sorts of architecture, shapes, nature, knick-knacks, and more that our brains typically coalesce together as noise. The world begins to feel alive as you become attuned to how lived-in it actually is.

Sometimes you’ll be on a roll and start noticing so much that’s new you’ll feel like you have to slow down or you’ll use up everything you could ever see. But that’s the beauty of Something New — you always miss something.


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