Gaming for a Living

by Jinryu

Time: December 15, 2009 3:37AM
Location: @ Work
Batteries: 75%

Tomorrow (or rather, today after I finish work at 8AM) I’m off work for two days.  It’s long overdue.  I’ve worked 8 out of the last 7 days and frankly, I’m feeling a bit burnt out.

I realize now that one fo the differences between who I was, say, five years ago, or even ten years ago, versus who I am now has a lot to do with how I communicate.

I’ve always held that for a person to be a better person, they need to develop ‘substance.’  These are the things that, I suppose you could say, make you a respectable person.

You could, for example, swim 50 laps every morning.  You could be someone who has developed superior barbecue meat cutting skills after working as a butcher for a decade.  You could be someone who choses to quit smoking.  You could be someone who helps old ladies across the street.

It’s basically anything that makes you a ‘good person.’

And for the longest time, I suppose I held that actions always spoke louder than words, and that if you didn’t need to, you shouldn’t speak up anyway.  So it was that I worked hard, only for myself.  I’ve always been the sort of person to pack my day from start to finish with things that I take seriously with the exception of perhaps school, because those things seemed to be the least substantial of all the things I could learn.

Anyway, years down the line, I’m pretty pleased with the amount of substance I’ve accumulated. I am a jack of many, many trades, and though I master none, I think I’m a survivor– you can throw me in any situation and I’ll be able to do a fair job of surviving. Give me some time and I’ll get good at it, and you’ll find me gaming the system to try and find better ways of doing it.

That’s what life is to me: a big game. Take it as a parable. Every day, you’re working towards becoming a better gamer– you find entertainment along the way, but just as importantly if not as importantly, you grow.  Some people take offense at a statement like that, because the idea of a ‘game’ to them is something peurile and unrealistic– but as I’ve said before, I take my games very seriously, perhaps more seriously than some people take real life.  If anything, treating life like a game allows me to accept risks and acheive things that not many others can.

Growing up is a lot like building a character in an RPG.  And while a closed system like and RPG may seem overslimplified compared to the wishywashiness of real life, there are a lot of parallels.  I know, for example, friends who run their lives like fighters/tanks, such as [Terminator].  [Zanshin] I see as a sage. [SiB]… maybe a bard?  [Paladin], I actually see as a paladin. There are all sorts of ‘classes’ out there, and truly, many people display the traits of several classes.  The importance isn’t the category, nor on the appropriateness of a comparison to a game.  A game just caricatures real life, and it’s lesson lies in how you recognize the importance of those exaggerated characteristics as traits, perhaps in yourself.  The game is sown for introspection.