From the things we experience to the people we encounter. There is no “point” in life, so why not just make your own?
Video game developers create these experiences by using common mechanics and themes that are a vital part of our personal life, such as: love, rejection, the dichotomy of failure and success, defeat, happiness, friendships, sorrow, heartbreak, internal and external adversaries, selflessness and selfishness, not to mention mercy and vengeance.
The same could easily be applied to any other form of media; from fiction books to poetry, music, manga, drama and film.
It is clear that these forms of entertainment survive on their ability to relate to their audience’s personal lives to some degree; however where video games shine, is in their ability to put you at the forefront of the experience.
You are the main protagonist of the series.
You are led on a journey which changes dynamically with your choices.
No other form of entertainment allows you to be at the heart of a 40-120 hour adventure, as you witness the world growing and evolving around you.
Hence the reason for this article.
You will learn 7 reasons why I feel like life is a game and why you must find your own “point” to achieve true happiness.
The main rules in any game are the instructions which teach us how to play. However they also highlight what is and isn’t possible in a video game.
The rules, regulations and instructions are similar to all members of authority in our lives.
Think about it.
Our guardians, parents, teachers and other officers who try to police our lives in the name of “setting you on the right path.”
During out first ~20 years on earth, we’re learning the ropes of life, its concepts, qualities and faults.
For most of us, we need a guardian who can show us the road, pick us up when we fall down and light the tunnel when it’s too dark to see or find our way.
By the same token however, our guardians can limit our growth and creativity in a multitude of ways.
Most commonly through the words they spout, backed with their own personal experience, or via the challenges they put in front of us, however unintentional they may seem.
What are these challenges that I’m referring to?
- Who you’re allowed to date and marry
- The careers you must choose
- What to eat and which physical activities you’re allowed to partake in
- When you’re allowed to sleep
- The types of people you’re allowed to associate with
In my opinion these challenges are some of the most difficult obstacles put in front of a young person who has yet to gain his bearings on the world.
In dating, some guardians threaten their youth into submission.
“Don’t ever date or marry people who are Black/White/Hispanic/Asian etc.”
“Don’t bring shame to this family.”
“I will ex-communicate and disown you.”
We also face the brunt force of our guardians’ ‘iron fists’ as they teach us what they know about the world of work.
Teachers may try to convince students to study subjects which they studied.
And our parents will try to influence us into majoring in fields which either they excelled at, or failed to make headway in.
Many of these recommendations are also heavily influenced by that parent’s thirst for material wealth and social status.
It’s simply human psychology.
We try to influence other people into choosing a specific career or way of life, to justify to ourselves that we have indeed made the right choice.
For example, it is widely believed that getting a degree is absolutely essential in this day and age in order to “succeed”.
I mean, people with degrees are struggling to find jobs, so what chance do those without degrees have?
I’m not completely free from fault myself.
Look at the ecosystem that I have created around the idea of a balanced life.
The concept is exactly the same.
I’m trying to convince you that it is the best way to live (there is no real best way), but at least I offer a lot of choice in terms of how to tackle it.
It reminds me of some of the rules and regulations we had in primary school – not to mention, the ‘rumours’ of monsters who prey on little children who are “disobedient and naughty”.
Whilst these rules as a whole may be protecting us (using fear to protect), they’re actually constraining us!
Rules exist for a reason, contrary to popular belief however I don’t think they exist simply to be broken.
Rules test our way of thinking, and to a certain degree they almost purposely act as a mentor, giving us a big clue as to how we can bypass them.
Unblocking and using one’s creativity to find solutions to somewhat difficult problems is the first step towards thinking outside of the box.
And that’s precisely why I think life is a game.
So let’s think outside the box and play a game
And as you’ll find out later in this article, exploring and experiencing that unknown could lead you to becoming a better person at the end.
2. Having genuine friends makes life a whole lot easier
Most role-playing games present you with a group of characters who assist you on your journey.
This group is commonly referred to as a ‘party’ and you will spend the majority of your time with this group.
Doesn’t this sound very familiar to you?
Your friendship group is the physical representation of your party.
It is like an exclusive club, where only certain individuals are allowed to be a part of.
Our friendship groups may stand as cliques in nature, but when handled properly, they can take you far and make you more successful than you would be without them.
In fact, I encourage you to create friendship groups which only few people can become a part of.
This is because if you open yourself out to everyone and try to become a part of everyone’s life, you will also be opening yourself to attack from disorderly souls in the name of vampires, witches and trolls who will make it their personal mission to run havoc on your life.
I’m sure you’ve experienced these kinds of people very well during your life.
Look at the way a cell membrane treats foreign material.
It is semi-permeable for a reason.
It will only allow material who it deems suitable, to become a part of its contents.
The lesson to be learnt here: Choose your friends wisely.
If an individual doesn’t share your core values and beliefs, you’ll be pulled into a heap of trouble.
By the same degree if you’re present within a friendship group that feeds on you to serve their own insecurities, it is one you must remove yourself from immediately.
Create Your Own Niche
In many video games, characters that stick together have both individual and shared goals. They’re a part of that group because they resonate with what it signifies to a great degree!
It is widely said and believed that you are the sum of the 5 people we spend most of your time with.
Your friendship group is a part of your environment, and the state and health of that environment contributes greatly to your quality of life.
Choose your friends wisely.
Search for those who think similarly to you, yet at the same time – provide you with the opportunity to grow.
I could never have a group of friends who have beliefs and life views which are completely opposite to my own.
The number of friends you have isn’t what’s important. It’s who your friends are.
It’s healthy if your friends do have some alternative viewpoints about life though.
Immersing your mind into material which challenge your viewpoints, gives you the benefit of truly understanding why you think a particular away about a topic.
Heck! It might even change your original opinion all together.
Most importantly, be sure to understand and define what friendship truly means to you; don’t use it loosely like many people do with love, it doesn’t surprise me why many people are not able to find it.
However, when you do – be sure to let them know how invaluable they are to your life. They will appreciate it.
3. The journey towards our goal is the only thing that matters
Not the result, but how we got there.
Probably the biggest reason why life is a game.
The journey is the road we take to achieve our deepest vision and ultimate goal.
In video games, the experience is the main reason for replaying the game several times over.
Not how it started, and not how it ended.
For me I’m not going to judge my life by how it started, or how it ends, but rather by what I did in between. What things did I see? Who did I meet? What did I accomplish?
The journey towards a balanced life for instance, exemplifies this concept as something that could potentially take years to fulfill. I’ve made it paramount to have a dream that excites me continuously.
If my dream doesn’t force me to get out of bed in the mornings then I’m probably not as passionate about it as I first thought.
If I were to wake up and think deeply about the main motivations behind going on this journey, the results I would love to create and the plethora of opportunities that it could generate for the world at a glance, I would spring up immediately and get to work.
Even the most mundane tasks can be completed with a smile on your face, if it is a prerequisite for achieving a goal that you have so much passion for.
The monotonous activities which you used to loathe for stripping away your motivation on a daily basis will become the fuel your body and mind requires to achieve what you truly desire – through consistency.
By investing so much time and energy into my goals, I have been forced into a position where I can’t turn back even if I wanted to.
I’ve simply gone too far.
Just like in our video game analogy, by delving deeper into the ruins of that dungeon we’re awakening the beast that has been sleeping for thousands of years.
We’re stepping into an unknown, but we’re not scared because we are aware of how much our goals and dreams mean to us.
4. Your experiences in life will change and shape you
In role-playing games, characters travel from island to island, undertaking new experiences and challenges to find out who they truly are.
This concept is a personal one to me, it’s all about self-discovery.
Going on a voyage as a vagabond is the ultimate form of a journey towards discovering one’s self.
Meeting new people, cultures and traditions is probably the biggest benefit for exploring our world.
Every day, many people decide to pack their bags and start anew someplace else – simply for the experience.
However, self-discovery and exploration isn’t only to do with travelling and discovering new cultures.
You can enter a new world of self-discovery at your doorstep.
Making a stark career change is an example of trying to find yourself when you’re in the middle of a flood of choices and opportunity.
Similar to those struggling to choose a career, trying a variety of things may be the answer you’re looking for.
People continually state boredom as being one of the greatest perils of work instability and dissatisfaction.
On the other hand, you may just need a completely different change of pace to recapture the true essence of who you were as a child.
Remember, how you decide to explore your world is up to you as its your story.
It need not be compared to anybody else’s.
Never compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle or end.
Stories are beginning and ending every day.
The chapters in life are different for everybody.
Some people insert extra chapters into their book, making it exclusive to them and by the same token, some people remove pages and chapters which they feel are irrelevant for who they want to be.
Of course here I’m talking about what we experience in our lives and the kind of people we wish to become.
Everyone has a story to tell and nobody’s life has been perfect from the day they were born.
Some people say that we never realise what kind of person we truly are until we die.
Whilst that may be left for us to interpret in any way we wish, exploration gives you the ability to form your own beliefs about the world – without any direct, external influences.
5. You are the main character
Life is a game because you are responsible and in control.
This is you.
It is my belief that everybody has the potential to become truly great if they allow themselves to.
The world isn’t owned by anybody, it is mine as much as it is yours.
Nobody has the right to tell you what you can or can’t do, or who you can or cannot be.
That is your decision and yours alone.
If you believe the sky is green, and I believe it is red – whose right is it to stop us from believing that? What I see and experience from these eyes; my past, present and future is **different from what any individual born from today till the end of time will experience. **
No two people are exactly the same.
“People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That’s how they define reality. But what does it mean to be “correct” or “true”? Merely vague concepts… Their reality may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?” – Masashi Kishimoto
6. Your choices determine your current and future position
Everything we experience in our daily lives contributes towards our overall character development.
Our emotions are differing mental states that arise spontaneously, rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes.
EQ, also known as Emotional Intelligence is a necessary requirement to becoming successful.
This concept is actually a subset of our character development, and it is where happiness is derived from.
The six components of a balanced life are at their strongest when they’re nourished and maintained.
Our choices in life determine the path we set for ourselves.
We’re not set on one path for life, it is constantly changing every day.
It is unfortunate however to see so many people who believe there is only one way to live, only one way to be successful.
After my 18th birthday I’ve had the belief that if you only know one way to become successful – then you’re going to find it almost impossible to succeed.
What will you do when one path gets blocked?
Will you give up on your dreams?
Or will you exercise the art of thinking outside the box to get it?
7. Information is abundant and valuable
The tools are the pieces of material which help us along the way during our journey.
Without them, we wouldn’t get very far.
Everyone has different needs and desires and thus require different tools.
In life, the most valuable tool known to the modern man is information.
With it, he is powerful.
Without it, he is ignorant.
Denying oneself access to information and education is preparing for failure.
Whether I achieve my dreams or not, for me – learning is the most important tool at my disposal because it gives me the power to change.
What experiences in your life makes you believe that life is a game? I’m curious to hear your thoughts in the comments below.