“No matter how much we try to control it, our mood will always swing back and forth.”
Seems intuitive. Moods change, at different rates for different people, and presumably with different states representing neutral or zero.
In Mattias’ game, mood is never still. It swings from one side of the screen to the other, changing shape (from colourful circle to grey square) whenever it crosses the central line. “Every time the mood changes we learn something,” the intro continues. “And the line grows.” There’s something noble about the notion that we need our changing moods to learn and grow, a counter to fantasies of eternal happiness.
Mood is never still, but its path can change. This physics toy is interactive, after all. At first the mood icon swings neatly in a straight line from side to side, but whenever you click it heads off in a new direction, still bound to return but perhaps in a grander arc, delaying the lengthening of that central line and thus the end of the game.
Putting aside the conversation around what it means to have a win condition here (“The game ends when the line is long enough” – you keep learning until one day you don’t?), consider how to interpret the fact that the quickest way to win the game is not to play.
Just let it be, I suppose. You may feel low right now, but the highs will always return. Any action you could take to try to adjust your mood will only delay the inevitable.