The Game Board

Your Six Senses

The game Your Six Senses in the Dharma Games game suite uses the metaphor of 6 senses in a billiard-like style. Each colored ball represents one of the sensational objects. Pink represents flavors; yellow is scents; blue is touch; green is sound; red is sights; and black is thought (the sixth sense). There are five clown characters on the board of play. The clowns have a total of 6 holes located on their bodies where we must guide the colored balls. The placement of the holes on the clowns bodies correspond to the sense that the ball represents. For instance, there is a hole located over one of the clowns’ eye where we are supposed to guide the red ball (sight), and so on. One clown has two holes, one on his hand and the other in the center of his head for the mind’s sixth sense. Using a stick controlled by your mouse, you aim the white ball (cue) to hit the colored balls into the correct holes.

Once you have hit all of the balls in, or have used up your reserve of cue balls by hitting them in holes, the game is over. You are then evaluated by how many colored balls you hit into the correct holes. The game requires focus and patience. I had to play a total of three times in order to get all 6 of the balls in the correct holes. In between each game, you are given a written sermon from Buddhist thought. One of the sermons tells us about “The All” which means the encompassment of all 6 senses which is beyond range of comprehension. The other sermon, “The Fire Sermon” tells us of a time when “The All is Aflame” symbolizing the misuse or destruction of the senses.

The game requires you to have diligence, but not much knowledge of Buddhism. The knowledge is delivered in between games, but does not help you to defeat the game in any way. This is a simple pairing of Buddhist ideology with symbols that create a playful atmosphere where you can learn Buddhist stories. The use of play in this manner is not to tie the ideology directly to the game itself, although it does take use of “the sixth sense” to get the balls in, it is simply to create a light-hearted arena to learn about the religion. In the same way that Reverend Billy uses the guise of a Christian Evangelist to create an audience for his anti-consumer movement; this game uses billiards and clowns to attract online gamers to the Buddhist message.

The game and play are used as simple attraction measures. The symbols in the game consist of color representations of different senses. The colors seem to have no real life connection to the given sense, besides black being thought or the absence of all other sense (color). The clowns which serve to represent the human body are perhaps used to signify the youth and immaturity of own that does not have complete control of their senses.

Once you are able to guide your senses correctly and focus your efforts, you lose this immaturity and can be deemed serious in nature, unlike the clowns on the play board. The entire Dharma games suite is comprised of non-violent games which incorporate Buddhist principle. The objective is to teach Buddhism while providing a fun and playful environment. Players are encouraged to read about Buddhism in order to complete the games, but this knowledge is not necessary for success in the games.