The world inside the screen is an unlimited territory, an expansive, sprawling landscape, a horizon that never ends. Not only that, there are thousands upon thousands of these worlds. They allow for harmless, comfortable adventure where your character could never do something wrong, and if they do, it’s because it’ll actually end up being right or easily corrected.
In these beautiful lands, we can explore the depths and soar to the sky. In our vivid fantasy space, we are gifted, we are important, and we are brave. We are who we want to be, going wherever our hearts desire. We become the best, tap tap tapping away at our arrows keys, our combinations programmed to set up a perfectly aimed shot towards our always inferior enemies or allowing us to spew the perfect comeback to NPCs that always want us to do something for them because, again, we are the best.
If only life was that easy.
If only in life we could teleport to exotic lands, undo our mistakes with a click, take a position among the best and admired, and never be outside of our comfort zone. Right?
Contrary to our beliefs, everything we do and have in life is better than in-game. Minus the teleportation.
It may be harder than sitting at a desk, swiftly moving our muscle memory-dependent fingers over our keyboards, but isn’t it more rewarding as well? If we got everything in life so easily, we would only want more. It wouldn’t be as great or as special as it would be to us otherwise. When we work for what we want–whether that be a dream job, respect, fame, money to travel and buy what we want–it’s more valuable to us because of the blood, sweat, and tears put into it.
Instead of interacting with NPCs, interacting with real humans and helping them out, not because we are thought of as the best, but because we are thought of as good people, is where the real value is at. It’s where we get our warm, happy feelings from (and if I might add: it’s scientifically proven); it would certainly feel less like a chore needed to progress in a storyline and more like an opportunity to do some good.
In life, to get what we want or to experience novelty, we do have to go out of our comfort zones, but that makes it mean all the more. When we travel and journey in-game, there is no stepping out of the comfort zone. There is no stepping period, just sitting and tapping at the keyboard. In life, when we come out of our security, we don’t just get the experience, we change as people and gain knowledge, gain real bravery (yes, it’s not in-game and therefore not automatic).
Lastly, adventures and mistakes in-game might be harmless, but aren’t those mistakes and the possibility of harm what makes us smarter, better people? Without our mistakes, where would we be? Probably stuck in perfect, fragile bubbles in our own little worlds of ignorance and naivety.
Unlike video games, the game of life involves mistakes, character development and progression without quantitative leveling up, risky adventure, and a ton of effort. Because of this, we can get everything and do anything we typically could in the gaming world plus so, so much more.
The only thing we might not be able to do is revive ourselves when we’re dead. But I’m sure the scientists are working on that too.
So get out there, and play the real game.