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The fun scale

The Fun scale for outdoor fun: illustrating Type 1 fun as skiing, Type 2 fun as mountaineering and Type 3 fun as surviving a bear encounter (the best story)

The fun scale acknowledges that not all fun is created equal and includes the different types of fun, including Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 fun.

I assumed fun is all the same. Fun is fun. But then, when I first heard about Type I and Type II fun, I had to admit there was some validity in there being different types of fun.

Type 1 fun is like eating ice cream, or skiing with ski lifts to whisk you back up to the top — you love it while you’re doing it, and when you think back on it you remember how good it was. Straightforward— sounds like fun.

Type 2 fun, on the other hand, is the sort of enjoyment you get from something like running a marathon or climibing a mountain. You often have to admit that it wasn’t necessarily all fun at the time. In fact, it could have been quite hard and might have hurt a bit. But when you look back on it, you think of it as often more fun and fulfilling than the Type I fun.

Type 3 fun is usually type 1 or 2 fun that went wrong. Though it was supposed to be fun, things actually got a little hairy – like you got lost, or it got dark, and it got cold, or you had to be rescued — but…it sure makes a great story when you make it back.

The fun scale is probably my favourite sketch that didn't make it into my new book. If you like this one, you'll love the book Big Ideas Little Pictures.

HT: my brother shared this with me having learned it from his mountain guide doing classic Type II fun.

I updated this sketch in 2023. Here is the original fun scale sketch


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