Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Grand Unified Gaming Theory
I came up with this while talking to Jessica. It's basically how life is like a video game. We were talking about sandbox games that are pretty much “do as you please” games that are just like that. There's no real direction, or purpose. As much as I like these games, and do enjoy exploring the vast worlds, I do need rules and boundaries in a game. I need direction. When I played Skyrim, I left the main quest uncompleted while I went and did all the guilds and side missions I could find because I know once I do the main quest, I tend to lose interest in the game. To me, life is actually like this. I realise I've lost most of you now, but I'm about to get philosophical up in here, and maybe get some of you back.
See, in a game you are, usually, given a set amount of parameters to complete and eventually you reach the end of the game. I'm using open ended role playing games here as the example. In a game, you start weak, and advance by collecting experience and becoming stronger. In life you do this as well. You experience life, and grow as an individual. There are three major goals in the game of life. Getting a love, raising a family, and fulfilling your own individual life goals. Each person's life goal tends to be different, and sadly not everyone meets theirs. You can look at this as the “main quest” of life, with those points being the objectives. When you complete the main quest of life, much like I do with an open ended game, you find yourself thinking you've achieved everything you have to do in life. You become content, and feel you can die happily, or at least you're able to accept death. I've done barely anything I wanted to do in life, so I'm in no hurry to accept my own mortality.
In games, especially these days with RPGs, you face difficult choices that cause you to act on a moralistic basis. You can choose to do what you believe in, or do away with everything and live how you want. Some games these days have even stepped away from clear black and white moral choices, and have you pick between the lesser of two evils, or take sides when you might prefer not to. You trade money for weapons, goods, and items to restore your health. You rest as well to restore your health, much like sleeping restores a person. A downside though is that games often don't focus on the little choices that tend to become much bigger changes down the line. It would be nice to see that implemented in the future.
Depending on your beliefs, what happens at the end of life is also similar to what happens in a game. You can argue that essentially the afterlife of Heaven/Hell is basically downloadable content, made to extend the game. Except you pay for it with your mortal body, rather than currency. Though of course in several ancient traditions people were buried with coins to pay the ferryman with on the river Styx. Or, if you believe in reincarnation, you simply hit the continue button, or restart the game from scratch, as no two playthroughs are the same. You get to make a whole new set of choices, in a whole new world, with whole new people. Kind of like Minecraft. The world is randomised, and it's up to you to explore and live in it, and make what you can out of it.
Now THAT is a good metaphor, and is really the one I should have stuck with, as in Minecraft you literally make something out of the world you have been given.
I realise that I've talked a lot of bollocks here, and not all of it makes sense, but it did in my head, and when you get that shot of inspiration, well, you have to write. It's just a shame that most of you guys aren't in to games, and probably won't get all of this.