Today we’ll be going down the rabbit hole as I talk–err…excerpt about a topic near and dear to my heart: the ultimate analogy for meta-loving nerds such as myself, “life is a video game.”
Now, initially I planned to save this topic for a later date, but considering it’s so fundamental to my life philosophy and – by extension – what I blog about, I decided sooner is better than later.
Considering I already wrote about it in my book, however, what you’re about to read is more or less excerpted from the source. (Just with fun images and GIFs!)
But–ahem!–in any case, I present to you…
Life is a Video Game
Life is a video game. Say it with me: “Life. Is. A. Video. Game.” Just one big game. If you think that sounds totally wonkers and want to just Willy Wonka out of the beautiful collection of pixels that is this eBook, that’s cool with me. You do that. I could very well be mad, after all.
Close the window.
Cool. I suspect we’re going to get along. After all, as I always say: if being crazy is this much fun, why would I ever want to be sane?
If you’re still here, then I suspect, on some level, that you already know it to be true— the fact that we’re essentially just living in one giant-ass elaborate game. That, or you’re interested in the ramblings of a possibly-mad girl. Either way, I give you props. All the props.
Welcome to the Real World
But really. Think about it now: if we didn’t believe this to be true on some level, why do we like The Matrix so much? The concept that our reality is simply a construct of our own minds is intriguing. Terrifying. Appealing. It’s all those things and more.
And it’s a concept that is, in my humble, possibly-mad-girl opinion, true.
Now I’m not saying we’re all just being controlled by a bunch of robot overlords as we obliviously live out our sad little game loop of an existence for the entertainment of others. (At least… I certainly hope that isn’t the case.)
You see, what The Matrix got wrong, in my opinion, is that we didn’t choose this. Because again, in my humble, possibly-mad-girl opinion, we did.
We chose to play this game. To live out these plot lines. And we get to choose and choose, more and more, every day. We always have a choice—even now. Especially now. But how about I just lay out the science for you and allow you to come to your own conclusions, hmm? Because, as cool as it might be—being a robot overlord—I am most certainly not one.
Everything is energy.
Ever heard that one? Can you guess who coined it?
Albert mother-fucking Einstein, that’s who. If a dude with INT +100 said it, it’s got to have at least some shred of validity, right? And if everything is, in fact, energy, then that means we’re energy, too.
Much in the way video game characters are technically nothing more than a bunch of minuscule little pixels all clumped together to form a recognizable shape, so are we. That’s quantum physics. And it’s basically the only type of science capable of giving yours truly a metaphorical nerd boner. Because it’s meta. Meta AF.
And I LOVE me some meta.
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed.”
You’ve probably heard that one too, right? And, if you recall, everything is energy. So, if everything is energy, and we are energy, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that we cannot be created or destroyed?
Deep, right? I know, I know. I’ll just let you ponder that for a sec as we pass the proverbial joint around our very own That 70s Show smoke circle.
You all pondered up? Awesome. Me too, adventurer, and I haven’t even smoked anything. (Unless taking an abnormally-long whiff of the latest Final Fantasy-themed perfume counts?)
So, if we cannot be created or destroyed, then what the heck happens to us when we die, huh? Or um… when our parents err… get the nasty on? (Let’s not lie, you totally went there.)
(Okay, maybe it was just me.)
To that, I’d say: while we cannot be created or destroyed, our avatar can.
Enter Your Avatar
Our souls—or as many in New Age circles may call them, our “Higher Selves”—are essentially the players of the game. They’re the energy that is us—the energy that can’t actually be created or destroyed. The ones who are—ultimately—behind the controls. Since we’re all a bunch of good little nerds here, let’s refer to them as our “Player Selves,” shall we?
In any case, if they’re the players of the game and we’re the avatars, then that makes life THE game. The ultimate game TO END ALL GAMES.
Each time our soul incarnates into a new body, it’s as if it’s starting a new playthrough in “The Game.” If you’ve played The Game before, then you may have a general idea how things will go. What to expect.
Anyone played Dragon Age? Mass Effect? Any of Bioware’s older games? (If not, you should totally put this book down ASAP and go try one out. Just sayin’.)
Now I’m a big Bioware fan (less so these days… coughselloutscoughcough), and I suspect that’s because I love me some meta. You see, I feel like their games tend to be good examples of how “The Game” works.
You start the game with character creation. (And if you’re anything like me, this part alone could have you preoccupied for quite some time…) You can pick your gender, your race, class, starting skills—even your backstory—depending on the game.
If you’ve played the game before, you might even plan out your character’s personality or what choices you’ll make at major plot points or who you’ll romance, etc., etc.
Then, once you begin the actual game, you start getting presented with CHOICES. More choices. Lots of choices. ALL the choices. Where will you invest your stats? Who will you make ruler of Fereldan? Will you punch that reporter? Save that dog? Will you commit alien-buggenocide? Will you even beat the game? Rage quit? Just get bored and stop?
The impact of these choices can vary from basically-meaningless to world-changing, but they still tend to have some sort of impact, regardless of the scale.
And so goes life.
Each time we incarnate into a body, we get to choose things ahead of time. Our race, gender, nationality, starting skills, family—all of it. We set an intention for our next playthrough.
So when you find yourself asking: “Why does my family suck Jaba balls?” remember that you did choose them for a reason—prior to knowing what you were really in for, possibly—but for a reason, nonetheless.
Of course, it doesn’t always feel like that’s true. (Or um, never…) Sometimes you quite simply want to set a trio of hungry dragons on your family, or maybe even watch your older brother’s skull disintegrate before your eyes as your Dothraki spouse bestows him with a crown of molten gold—or maybe you just have a serious bout of all-around character creation REGRET.
And that’s because we’re the avatar. Our perspective is limited. Once we begin The Game, we can’t really see the big picture. We’re just trying to pay rent and eat ramen and um… not die and stuff?
When we play actual video games, do the characters typically know they’re in a game? Do they say, “Nah, it’s all good if we fail and giant, sentient spaceship overlords take over the universe and destroy every race in the galaxy because, after all, THIS IS JUST A VIDEO GAME!”
The answer is no. No, they don’t.
Usually. (Undertale, anyone?)
And that’s because their perspective is limited. They’re a construct of The Game and of our own minds. And—usually—we wouldn’t have it any other way. Because what fun would a game be without a little drama, hmm? Without a little danger? Without challenges, adventure, and adversity?
Boring with a big, fat “B,” that’s what. Boring with a big, fat “B.”
And that concludes the excerpt! So, what do you think, adventurer? Are we living in the Matrix? Or is it just another conspiracy theory? …And am I the only one who spends 2+ hrs on character creation?
What I’m Playing: Pokemon Go. It’s the only thing that gets me outside some days…
What I’m Watching: A Star is Born (ironic, given my recent post about the Star!) – Damn, was it good. It was so cool to see Lady Gaga acting and she and Bradley Cooper both did such a great job!
What I’m Listening to: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing podcast – perfect for aspiring sci-fi and fantasy writers!
What I’m Reading: More Conversations with God – I can’t get over how accurately it describes everything I’ve known to be true about life.
What I’m Writing: More posts… just heard that I got an Honorable Mention from Writer’s of the Future, however! That supposedly means my story’s close to publishable but still missing… something. I’m about to have a fun time trying to figure out what that something is, I’m pretty sure.
What I’m Contemplating: How to further improve my HM short story?