Energy is spent on tasks. A task is a single sheet of paper with a question on top and two options at the bottom. All tasks must be visited in order (No time-travel allowed!), and each task will require one (-1), two (-2), or three (-3) pills to be placed in the task’s cup, or for the player to simply move on to the next task. Some tasks require interaction with a more detailed task (which is to the right of the task) before proceeding.
If the player spends all of their pills, they must place their bottle under the cup where the last pill was placed, and deposit their gloves in the provided plastic bag. The game is over when the player runs out of pills.
The Energy Game was inspired by Christine Miserandino’s “Spoon Theory”, an account that gives an explanation of what it is like to live with a chronic disease. Miserandino uses spoons as a metaphorical replacement for the concept of energy, thus allowing it to be measured. In most cases, individuals with chronic diseases tend to have a more limited amount of energy to expend each day than individuals who are able-bodied, thus it becomes important to plan what tasks energy will be spent on in order to get through the day.
The goal of The Energy Game is to get participants to think about how many tasks they do in a typical day and how they find the energy to do them, in addition to introducing the idea that energy can be a finite resource that is preciously spent.