The Game of Life

Dear Gamer, I’ll start with the end. It’s just as relevant as a beginning:

“We are inherently it seems, predisposed to dislike and avoid uselessness and meaninglessness. If we can therefore find a perspective on the world where everything suddenly becomes useful and meaningful, our interest is stimulated, Life makes sense, and when life makes sense, we find living a whole lot easier.”

Your question connects to a conversation I had with a dear friend. It’s particularly relevant as it includes more general gaming explanations for those not familiar:

MMO Basics

“E, I don’t remember if I shared this particular Perspective with you or not. The one of re-playing life. For this, MMOs, the online gaming virtual worlds, are most interesting.”

“As a player, I make a character, an avatar, and then I can run around the world and do whatever. I can do that and interact with other people doing the same. There are characters in the game who are part of the environment, not actual real people. They are referred to as NPCs – Non Player Characters. There’s individual freedom to “play” the game in a huge range of ways, Much like life. We can interact with other players as little or as much as we want.”

“But when I look at all this from an Abstract Perspective and take the MMO, (Massively Multiplayer Online) this particular form of gaming, as being basic representation of Life and still in the early stages compared to the “real” world, it opens many interesting avenues.”

“In all the MMOs one starts by creating a character to play as. The range of choices vary but there are many commonalities. Decisions like race, class, profession, function and so on. Those usually determine traits and abilities and influence what we can learn and acquire in-game.”

“The games have play objectives, most of these are based on what is considered fun, a concept which is evolving rapidly. Most of the fun comes from some sort of achievement. Thus this type of fun is an expression or function of the ego paradigm. Games are evolving. In the early days one had to do massive amounts of “work’ in order to acquire the achievements. But it’s changing, other joys such as exploration, learning, mystery, story and more are becoming the point of playing, and of course these goals will evolve further.”

Eventually games will come to spirituality and self-growth as goals. It’s somewhat inevitable, as these are the ultimate once the hollowness of ego achievement and admiration of others, which is the heart of the current system, no longer yields value. Then all that’s left is what truly matters and is of interests; Self-Improvement in whatever form it represents to us, which is what gives us the most fun. Gaming does this already, just indirectly.”

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Other Perspectives

“Gaming is excellent in so many ways. Even what people perceive as the negative. It’s the bait from a Universal Perspective. Have to get people interested somehow. Also, all that has led to the gaming industry being a leading industry, much bigger than the movie industry for a while now. It drives computer technology for instance and affects so much. But that’s a whole other thread. I’m on something else.”

“The main theme is Character Creation and what we do afterwards. To me, the games are a massive philosophical exercise, but that too is another thread.”

“Let’s extrapolate into the future. Let’s suppose games have evolved to the most sophisticated level possible. At present we have worlds one can move around in, but they are still worlds viewed on a monitor. With Virtual Reality now here, the immersion factor has taken on a new level, one believes one is actually there, a big deal. But of course we aren’t physically there thus movement is a limitation.The extension to complete the immersion is an implant which tricks the brain, much like we dream. The mind internally has no sense of reality.”

“If the brain is literally opened, like when they do brain surgery, actual physical stimulus of the brain can cause the person to experience feelings, tastes, sights, sounds whatever as if they were real. But of course in that case it’s clearly obvious it isn’t. Similarly, there are ways to stimulate the brain electronically. And now of course there is also the technology of connecting the brain to external devices and controlling them. Prosthetics and computer control for the disabled and so on. The prosthetic limbs are “felt,” in a way, and that’s what allows their use more naturally.”

“These are early days, but it’s not too far-fetched to see how we can easily connect the brain to virtual reality and to stimulate the brain to actually believe it’s completely immersed in a virtual world and to experience it as Real. Especially if the virtual world is one which is realistic instead of fantastical.”

“Stick with me, I’m going somewhere with all of this.”

Playing Like It’s Real

“Let’s skip ahead to where we are able to immerse fully into a game, to where that immersion and “real” life is the same. Now let’s also ask ourselves, what would we do with a game like that? One that is indistinguishable from “real’ life?”

“If we are sophisticated gamers and have played all the usual types of games and have progressed on to what is truly important for us, which in the end is self-change, then the game experience takes on a whole other Perspective. When it comes to learning and Self-Improvement, often it’s difficult, or even impossible, to actually change and implement what we know is better and what we want. Force of habit and brain patterning is a very powerful force.
We can get locked into Ways of Being we know are not ideal. We can see the flaws and yet be unable to change them. So how would we remedy this?”

“We would have to start over. We would have to set up our development in such a way that we avoided making the same mistakes, or being exposed to the same influences and inputs which caused us to develop the Habits of Being that we don’t want. We also would, if we could, go about setting up an environment which would prompt us to learn what we believe is what we need to learn. Of course this is a most sophisticated game we are talking about. One where we get to be the game designer also to a large extent. The character creation is taken to the maximum level. We decide what character traits we keep and just how blank we start.”

“If we start with memory of our previous life, the entire purpose of leveraging ourselves into changing will be for nothing. So we can’t remember, we have to go into the new game ignorant. We can keep certain traits, or characteristics. Ones we have already acquired, ones we deem to be essential, and ones that do not lead to other undesirable qualities. Traits or characteristics like say Patience, or loving, generosity, caring etc.”

“The characteristics we take with us is a most tricky business, for what we think are good qualities are not always so. Take caring for instance. It seems on the surface to be an undeniable good, but we know all to well how we can get into trouble via inappropriate caring, and also how we have been troubled by the caring of others. They were well-meaning, but nonetheless caused harm or stress.”

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Assuming Purpose

“This all leads to the Perspective of living a life as if we have deliberately set up everything, as if we had done so in a sophisticated game. The purpose of which was to affect self-change. If this idea is adopted then everything makes a whole lot more sense. It doesn’t of course matter in the least if it’s true or not. We can get use from simply relating to life as if it were so. If we adopt this perspective then everything becomes meaningful, purposeful. And we are then focused on the learning, the changing, the identifying of what it is we need to learn and change. Focused on why exactly we made the Character Creation choices in this life we live now, under the assumption that we are now, in fact, actually in a game. It leads us to consider our characteristics. And to evaluate the characteristics themselves.”

“What are the traits and characteristics which are truly valuable in all circumstances? Which abilities lead us to the maximum range of freedoms. If for instance, I choose to have musical ability, does that not influence and affect and shape my life to a path which would involve music. It raises the probability of being a musician, and that might not be desirable. Any talent thus is a likely limiting factor when it comes to our range of options. (Perhaps why most choose not to have specific talents.)”

“To play the Game of Life it’s thus essential to master the Character Creation part of the game. And to do that we have to identify what is important to us. What truly matters.
Not only that, but we have to fully understand the influencing factors. How they work, how they interact, how they extend into the future and how they make a difference. We have to learn to think in the abstract when it comes to our characteristics. How these influence in unanticipated ways. Unintended consequences a major factor in all of this, and in game development in general.”

Using the Game

“The key aspect in all this is having an idea or concept of what Life is all about. Once we move past the limited notion that it’s about surviving, and it’s actually about Evolving, it all changes. Then we have a focus. Now we can use the idea of evolving ourselves and focus on that. If we utilise the idea of being in a game of our own design, one geared to facilitating our evolution, we come to see the world we live in, and our lives, in a whole new way. The underlying reality doesn’t matter all that much, and what’s actually true or not within from an Overall Viewpoint. What matters is our Perspective. If we can get usefulness via a Perspective, the value is real. That’s what matters. In the end it’s the actual change of self that is the issue. That’s key. How we came to that change does not matter.”

“The concept of the world being an elaborate game we are living in, one where we chose ourselves, chose our starting circumstances, like we do in virtual world games, is a marvellous tool which allows us to look at life in a fantastically useful way. Everything takes on a new meaning, everything has use. And then there’s the idea we may in some way be able to influence the game in ways which give us hints and clues in what to learn, What direction we want ourselves to go in. What we want to avoid re-experiencing and so on. What we want to decondition ourselves from and more, much more. Part of the Character Creation would entail setting up these reminders and hints. If we are too direct we run the risk of programming ourselves, which we want to avoid. Awareness, true awareness has to come about organically, by itself, otherwise it isn’t true Awareness, but a program. Since our goal is to evolve. to evolve toward true Freedom, we have to be most careful and considerate of the Awareness process.”

Underlying Conception

“How we think about what life is all about makes a huge difference to how we live it. It does not matter in the least how true the idea of what it is all about actually is. What matters is how much actual real usefulness we can get from our conception. This is the question to ask: ‘How much does my current conception of the world lead to actual usefulness when it comes to my evolution?’”

“For me the utilitarian value is real. It’s only the idea that’s needed, the perspective. The imagining that it might be so and then using the value gained from leveraging the way we live and relate to events and happenings, and how we make choices and what we deem valuable as characteristics, attributes and so on. So the entire perspective is about leveraging our everyday life. And we can leverage our lives regardless of whether something is true or not. This is a critical understanding to me. A most most valuable one. We can get too concerned with whether things are true or not. The real question is really, “How can this be used to get value?” When we ask that question we can get value from everything. And adding a perspective to life that gives it meaning and purpose adds huge amounts of Value.”

“We are inherently it seems, predisposed to dislike and avoid uselessness and meaninglessness. If we can therefore find a perspective on the world where everything suddenly becomes useful and meaningful, our interest is stimulated, Life makes sense, and when life makes sense, we find living a whole lot easier.”

Biella – Ask Biella
Ask Biella – Gateway Gazette
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