Many of us play games or are immersed in different realities in our life – such as practicing a certain religion, being workaholic, consumerism, hobbies and so on. To what extent do these realities take over our lives and become “the meaning” we attribute to our life? What would we be without them?
Most of us define ourselves through these elements – they are who we are. So I’m wondering if we are to be striped of these – what would be left of us? Who would be who we really are? It’s a question that recently popped in my mind and thought it’s worth exploring.
Have you ever seen a games addict? If you give him/her food and water, he could play games the whole day, forgetting about everything. And he’ll be happy and fulfilled, he won’t go into bad feelings of not having a life purpose. He will happily give up his studies, job or anything that can free up time to play the game he loves.
My brother is a person very close to me that was a game addict during his university years – and he dropped out of school in order to get more time to play. He was literally barely taking a break from the game to eat and use the restroom – other than that, he was happy to be left alone to play his game.
Similar to games, religion or a strong belief is for some people the only meaning in their life – and they’re happy about it, living life away from anything similar to depression or anxiety. In the end, religion is a large virtual game humanity plays. It has rules of the game that one needs to follow in order to “win” at it. If you follow the rules, you get points and win in the end.
We can by now agree that consumerism is very much another virtual game a lot of us play. The points are won by owning properties, cars, buying only certain brands and going into fancy vacations. The more points you get, the more you tell yourself you are good at this game.
Of course, you can enjoy it and get lost in it, finding the meaning of your life in owning and chasing to buy rare and expensive things.
Hobbies and other games
In the end, any hobby you have, including the “helping others” activities, represents basically a way to define yourself and get immersed in something. Sometimes forgetting about who you really are if you stop practicing it. It defines you and it can get to the point that it would make you happy if you’re left alone with doing just that, for the rest of your life.
Social norms, traditions, socially accepted behaviors and standards – aren’t all these also some virtual games large group of people play? Different games, depending on the countries and cultures, but in the end, they’re rules we obey and to a certain degree make us happy.
What about love?
And this makes me think further, about love. Is love also a reality we made up? Is love a feeling we believe we are feeling? Is love also a game, as it has rules we have to play by? What are the behaviors of being “in love” once we decide we feel this way for a certain someone?
Instead of conclusion
Taking into account all these lines, I’d like to challenge you with these questions regarding defining yourself. How would you define yourself if you’re not allowed to use any of the games described above? What would you say about yourself and what words would you use?