Here are a few thoughts regarding the healing magic of the CanCan.
I didn’t set out to make a game. I set out to create a complete system that would show how colors FEEL in relationship to one another. There had to be some shapes because the shapes that colors appear in, and through, also contribute to the great variety of our visual experience.
My original thought was, You can read the world. What is the alphabet? I made an alphabet of the visual language. This alphabet has four shapes, onto which are draped all the colors of the rainbow plus black and white, in two-color combinations both positive and negative.
It became a game at some point when I cut up my original hand painted templates and saw that they could be considered increments of color. Matching color was an obvious mechanic that suggested itself.
So when you play with the tiles, and set yourself the simple task of matching and touching color tile to tile, you automatically and effortlessly create an interwoven and integrated color document. You are using the “alphabet” to compose a vision. Because you are attending to the simple rules of matching, you are free from the mental pressure to “make art”. So “art” makes itself while you focus on the game.
The tiles themselves might suggest different things and possibilities to different people. This is why I stress that people can disregard the rules and just play with the tiles any way they feel inspired to.
However, I think playing a simple game adds to the remedial effect of using the tiles because it creates an almost accidental unfolding of an organic interwoven design. The unfolding of this design is perceived or registered in a deeper part of your brain than the part that is focused on matching, touching and flipping, and it is a deeply soothing experience.
The colors come together in ever more satisfying ways as your board fills up. You think about how to maximize your wild tiles, they can help you win by giving you extra unlimited flips and thus playing the most tiles.
Matching the shapes and flipping more tiles are complementary activities to the building with color that is the foundation of the healing aspect of the game. Contemplating the rainbow of colors has been shown to be healing to the endocrine system.
It was very important to me that there be no counting or scoring during the play time, and that though you can win with strategy, this fluid color-focused process that is going on underneath the play can continue uninterrupted whether or not you win. This fluidity is what imparts calmness and a sense of well-being as you play. Moving between the flow of color matching and the forward thinking of shape matching and strategy brings a state of BALANCE to the brain.
Don’t you think that’s something that a lot of moms would be happy to hear about for their kids, and themselves?