As a guy who spent way too much of his youth with either a Nintendo 64 or a Playstation controller in his hand, I can’t help but ask: is real life like a video game?
Let’s begin our discussion with the topic of challenges. The challenges people face in real life can seem very similar to the challenges that they do in video games. For example, sometimes all I want to do is relax and spend time with my wife, but I have a number of seemingly random tasks to complete first.
The way that I have to do all of these things first before I can do what I really want makes me think of all those times when all I wanted to do was save the princess, but no, I needed to find a bagillion red coins or stars, or I had to make my way through some sort of terrifying forest first.
And what about leveling up and how the concept that one must improve over time in order to take on bigger challenges further down the road? In games, we level up by earning points, but in real life we do it through education, training, exercise, food, socializing, and experiences.
And when it comes to rewards, there are game/real life similarities too. In games, rewards come in the form of new levels, new characters, and points. In real life, we reward ourselves with rest and time spent with friends and family, and also acquiring things we want and trips to places we want to go.
All of this makes me think that there’s something philosophical about games. The most meaningful games tap into many of the challenges that come with being a living human being. I doubt video game makers spend a lot of time considering their craft from this perspective, but I think there’s a case to be made. And I just made it.
The take home message: In video games, just like in real life, the adventure can become a bit tedious. You can even start to wonder whether or not the journey is worth the struggle. But keep in mind why you started the adventure, and remember that all of this: the good times, the tough times, and the triumphs will lead us to an ending that is absolutely worth it!
How do you like to level up in your real-life video game?