So, I recently did a post about how fly fishing has innate game dynamics and I thought I’d expand on that theme.
One of the most common game dynamics is… (via TechCrunch)
Definition: A virtual or physical representation of having accomplished something. These are often viewed as rewards in and of themselves.
Example: a badge, a level, a reward, points, really anything defined as a reward can be a reward.
and another is…
Definition: the feeling of ownership and joy at an accomplishment
Example: I have ten badges. I own them. They are mine. There are many like them, but these are mine. Hooray.
Now, we don’t get an actual badge for our milestones, but I’d bet most anglers have a pretty good list of them in their heads.
A first 20 fish day. A 40 fish day. A fish caught on your own fly. A species list. A location list (states or countries). Number of rods. Number of reels. Number of waders you’ve worn through. Our pictures are our badges. The wear and tear on our boots are our badges. The space our rods take up in the garage are badges.
These are our trophies. They clutter up our mental trophy cases and depending on how humble you are, you might dust them off and put them on display… maybe overtly, maybe in more subtle ways.
Someone who has a conversation where they mention… “When I was fishing in Belize…” and then “The thing with Russian Atlantic Salmon…” and then “Of the twelve Able reels I’ve owned, I always felt that the main strength was…” That person is showing off their trophy case, or their foursquare badges.
If it is too explicit we, as anglers, tend to get a little bit upset. I don’t know exactly why. We don’t like braggarts much, while we probably are ourselves braggarts without meaning to be.
It is a driver… it is human nature. If the fly fishing industry had figured this out and really managed to put it implicitly into the sport in a way that wouldn’t make us barf, the industry would probably be in a much stronger position (even if it might have different people in it).
So… those are just some thoughts.
By the way… did I ever tell you about the time I fished in BC and caught an 18 pound buck steelhead on a skating dry fly?