I found this post over at the Elder Game blog, called “the Stages of Designerhood,” and I found it good for a laugh. I would say I’ve experienced a lot of the stages described in the cycle, and I certainly have the deeply dark sense of humor that accompanies the so-called “Zen Master” stage. ‘Course, I think I probably had the dark sense of humor long before I ever became a designer.

I’ve been designing games long enough that I have trouble citing the exact times I may have experienced any of the stages described, but I think it might even be simpler to compare the cycle to the Kubler-Ross model, known as the Five Stages of Grief. You can begin anything with interest and passion, and based on how it treats you, you can fall into a pattern of anger and denial, depression and bargaining.

One of the pingbacks was from Applied Game Design, which suggests a “Designer At Play” stage, where one is free to work on any project that comes their way without any real commitments or loss. I’m familiar with a feeling like that, as well. From a design perspective, sometimes I just like to contribute to a project that isn’t mine. It can be refreshing, like a vacation, to work on a project that you don’t have to call your own.

I already believe that my own life goes through cycles, which may be longer or shorter depending on what triggers a new revolution. I haven’t paid them much mind the last few months, I’ve mostly been busy with other things. I do keep journals, however, I might be able to figure out some kind of pattern to the cycles. There might even be something to the designer cycles I experience. (The last one was some time ago.)

So, where does this leave us? I don’t know, maybe something to think about. Maybe nothing. I’m sure I’ll come back to this subject again, though … what goes around comes around. You know, in a whole roundabout kind of way.