Writing, Among Other Things

If Life Was a Video Game

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If Life Was Like a Video Game

Here is a question for you:

It’s 2 AM. You are tired, but still not ready to call it a day. You think for a moment and come up with two things you could do:

a) Play your favourite video game.
b) Study, or finish some work you need to finish as soon as possible.

What do you do?

If you chose (b), you should stop reading now. This article is definitely not for you. If you chose (a), read on.

I often wonder how we find playing video games fun, and work boring, to say the least.

From my experience, I can tell you that there have been times when I have played on even when my thumbs were a bit sore, and my eyes were watery from fatigue. But, there was still that one achievement to be unlocked, still a score to beat, and woe befall me if I stopped before getting there.

Why can’t we have this attitude towards life and work?

How good we would be at life, if we could treat it as a video game, instead of the mundane activity we think it is.

But, how can we make that happen? How, if at all, can we treat life as a video game?

Sitting on a computer, the easiest way to find an answer to a problem is to google it. That is exactly what I did. A basic search on the Internet led me to two interesting articles on the topic. While the first article talks about the odds of life being a computer simulation (we could actually be living a video game!), the second is a strategy guide to life, the game.

Both articles are interesting reads on the subject and provide an interesting perspective to life. But, even after reading the articles I wasn’t sure I had got the answer to my question:

How can we make life as interesting as a video game?

Rules are not just for fools

The first thing we should have is rules. Every game has rules that make the game what it is. In real life there are too many rules. We just don’t know which ones to follow and which ones to break. The large number of rules also means that we do not know which rules work and which don’t. This makes life confusing.

So, it seems like a good idea to take some time to set some rules for living our lives. Then, we can reward ourselves or punish ourselves depending upon how well we follow the rules.

Goals, Targets, and Achievements

The most rewarding, and hence the most addictive, part of any game, is the sweet joy of completing a chart, unlocking an achievement, or beating a score. You have to overcome challenges to get to the end, and harder the challenge, the greater the satisfaction of overcoming it.

Similarly, in life we need to set ourselves achievable goals and targets, which are neither too hard nor too easy. Easy goals won’t be challenging, and hard goals will be too daunting. The targets also need to be short term as well as long term to help us stay the course.

Immediate gratification

The one thing from games that is hard to replicate in real life is the immediate gratification we get when we achieve an objective in the game. If we could find a way to emulate this feature of video games in our life, we would definitely be doing much more of life than we presently do.

The key here is to break each day into smaller periods, where we accomplish some pre-planned tasks in each period. To-do lists that many of us make are in fact one way to achieve this. I am sure I don’t need to describe the feeling we have at the end of a day when a tick is marked across each item on the to-do list.

The Elixir of Life

Like a video game, the quality of our life also depends upon the resources we are born with and the resources we manage to garner in the course of living our life. So, we need to keep an eye on these resources, like health, money, knowledge, etc. and ensure that the level of any of these resources does not fall below the threshold. Also, we need to make a conscious effort to maintain these resources at the highest possible level.

Friends and Partners

Most games allow us to play with a partner or partners, which make the game even more fun and challenging. In fact, there are many games where our performance in the game is based on how our friends are doing. Similarly, in life if we can find like-minded people, and surround ourselves with them, the game will become much more fun and meaningful. Instead of allowing fate to decide who our friends will be, it might be a smart idea to search for people with similar interest and liking, and become friends with them.

This is all I can come up with for now. If you have anything that you would like to add, feel free to use the comments section.

(Image Courtesy: Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay)

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  1. Agree with most of the things you have mentioned but I feel that gratification that comes from this needs to be bigger than a finished to do list.

    For gratification part, rewarding would be a better thing. Like, ticking off ‘x things’ each day unlocks a new episode of your favorite tv show. Or earns you a piece of chocolate / or any of your guilty pleasures that you currently waste time/resources on. Make yourself work for the things that you most crave 😉

  2. @Nishant I agree. Each one of us needs to figure out a way to reward ourselves to keep the game interesting. 🙂

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