What if life was a video game?! . . . Both a scary and an exciting thought. The pros: instead of experiencing Hyrule through a screen, you would actually be a part of it! Instead of pressing a button to kill a zombie, you would pull a trigger. If you needed money, just run through a level—collecting all the gold coins that you can grab, or go mow the lawn and catch the rupees that come flying out! When you boast about the latest raid, or wiping out the enemies’ nexus, you would have ultimate bragging rights, because you were actually on the battlefield. And no one would be able to call you a nerd!
But what are the cons if video games were our reality? Well, you would actually have to know how to play a guitar for Guitar Hero, and banana peels would be a lot more dangerous. Seriously though, there are several reasons why life is life, instead of a video game:
The Next Level
“Got to get to the next level!”
Ever got sucked into a game, that all you could think about was getting to the next level? You would play for hours a day, bag of chips and a 2-liter of pop nearby, sleep what’s that? And would rush to the bathroom whenever there was a cinematic. You dedicated your life to ‘getting to the next level’ until finally—you beat the game!
Now what? Well, you can replay the game. Harder difficulty, but same maps, same villains, there may still be a thrill, but it’s not as strong. You play day in and day out, until you beat the game! . . . again.
Again and again you play, the same levels, and the thrill you once had is gone. You play and play, until you get bored, and decide to play another game.
But what if you couldn’t switch to another game? What happened if you were stuck in the same routine, the same levels, forced to accomplish the same task again and again? What meaning would you have? How accomplished would you feel after you defeated the boss, knowing that you’re only going to have to fight him again? Did killing him then really matter at all?
How awesome would it be—you’re sitting at you’re desk at work, trying to get all your paper work finished, when an upbeat song begins to play. Wild BOSS appeared! At first you’re freaking out: “I’ve got to get this paper work done!” “What attacks do I need to use?”—CHARM, GROWL, SLEEP? But then you find his soft spot—RARE CANDY! You give it to him: It’s super effective! Wild BOSS runs away.
What if life was that easy? Filled with numerous Boss fights, and all we have to do is find that one weakness and we’ll beat it. Wild DEPRESSED FRIEND appeared! You give FLOWER. Depression is gone! Yes, life would be so much easier; after all, no matter how big or how scary a Boss is in a game, it’s almost always easier to kill it than solving a conflict in real life. However, making life easier is a problem.
1. The challenge of life molds us, shaping us into the person of who we are. No, it’s almost never fun, but if there was always an easy way out, how much would you be robbed of personal growth? Who would you be today if every conflict in your life had an easy solution?
2. You wouldn’t appreciate life as much. What is the first thought that you usually have as soon as you beat the Boss? When’s the next one? Our lives would be more focused on winning Boss fight after Boss fight, instead of learning from our experiences. So perhaps Boss fights are not a good idea, and that we should take care of conflicts the old-fashioned way?
The most obvious answer why it would be terrible if instead of death you received a Game Over before restarting, would be world-overpopulation. But that’s not the only problem that would result from this. First off, there would be no fear of death, which means less rationalizing and more doing of stupid stuff. YOLO would become YALF! (You Always Live Forever). What takes us only 1 life to accomplish, could take us 2—10—50—100, because we wouldn’t be afraid to take risks, there would always be a way to cheat death or to get another life—Phoenix Down, 1UP, a potion, or just restart after Game Over. Yes, it would suck feeling the pain again and again, but pain would be considered a small price for the ability to try-try-try with no limit.
. . . And would we consider life as precious, if there was not the horrible Yang of death?
How much fun is a game still if you’re overpowered with cheat codes, and nothing can beat you? Probably not as fun as when you had to fight to survive. Or how sweet is the feeling you get when you beat something that is supposed to take you 30 min. in a snap?
Just like solving everything with a Boss fight, cheat codes take way the challenge—no conflict. You receive victory—but you didn’t earn it, so did you actually receive victory at all? Yes, cheat codes help you to accomplish the task, but perhaps life isn’t about accomplishing challenges and goals, but how we accomplish them?
Also, most of the time, when you’re just handed something, do you appreciate as much as something that you had to work for?
If it’s not good to cheat on a test, a piece of paper at school, why would it be okay to cheat on life?
You wouldn’t be able to choose your purpose. Yes, the hero of a game is gifted often with the ability to make many choices and fulfill many purposes, but what if you were the unlucky soul who was not chosen as the hero? What if your only purpose was to sit at a well and say, “Are you thirsty?” only if the hero walked up to you? Or what if you live you’re whole life eating dots while being chased by ghosts, or being catapulted at towers to smash green pigs? What if you were the soldier who always dies in the first level for a dramatic effect?; or worse, what if you get stuck in a role in which you never eat! I’ve never seen Master Chief take even a bite of food.
If life was a video game, we would lose our ability to choose, and accomplish purpose. We would have no choice but to do what we were programmed to do. Yes, it may seem in reality that there are few heroes who succeed, and many who never accomplish purpose, but everyone has the ability to be a hero and make the choice, just many refuse to take it. Don’t let that be you. Stand up; be brave enough to make choices, and choose to accomplish the purposes that you have been given. Become a hero, instead of Dead Soldier #1.
If life was a video game . . . Video games are good for entertainment, and a brief escape from reality—but they’re not life, and they were never meant to be.