Benign ways to play life like a video game
Ever gone on a marathon gaming session and seen the whole world through a gaming filter afterwards? Here are three satisfying gamingposi ways to play your life, no tutorial intro required.
People have lots of different metaphors and similes to help them explain life. ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.’ This seems quite inaccurate to me – as far as I can remember, there’s always been that little sheet telling you all the fillings corresponding to each of the wrappers. But whatever.
When I searched Metaphors For Life on Google, I was lead to a page that suggested that everyone’s lives falls into one of fourteen life metaphors , but I don’t believe that. I think you can, to a certain extent, choose how you live your life. My life sometimes feels like a video game, and I’m okay with making the most of that.
Explore an open world environment
In open world games you can travel around an area, finding out more about the place. You can wander into different shops that you haven’t been to before, find different ‘Levels’ or ‘Lands’ and learn secrets about them.
Sometimes, as creatures of habit, we can just stick to the same few places all the time; home, work/school, shops etc. But you can branch out!
Perhaps you could try going to a different supermarket to do your shopping, or, even better, go to separate independent shops to buy the things you need. As well as helping you explore, it helps local businesses and can lower the airmiles of your food, which is always good.
You could treat local areas you might be very familiar with as whole new open world environments to explore – maybe psychogeography or going on a derive as a flaneur can help you discover familiar locations in a whole new way.
If you go on holiday, don’t just lie on the beach. Explore the area; find out about local customs and the history of the place. It’s a lot more interesting if you ask me – but I don’t tan, so I can’t understand the concept 🙂
If you play a lot of games, you’ve almost certainly played a game where you have to collect things to gain points, or to sell, or to use for tasks.
One example of this is Animal Crossing: Wild World, where you shake trees to knock down things like furniture, money and fruit. Although remarkably few trees in real life contain furniture, the idea is to keep an eye out for things which you could use.
When you’re not shaking down trees for money and fruit you can find oddities in all kinds of places. My dad always has a look every time he sees a skip. Some people throw out some really useful stuff, and other people like to go and pick it up (it’s known as skipping or dumpster diving).
I still remember my joy at finding half a broken thermometer on my Physics classroom floor back at school. Okay, not my best find, and I am yet to find a use for it, but it’s just an example of how things to collect can turn up anywhere
Recycle, upcycle (yes, you can even upcycle toilet rolls!) and re-use anything you can. Maybe you’d like to display the found art you collect in a wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities? You can do that if you wish.
Unlock dialogue options and talk to people
Just going up to people and chatting to them is something that’s common in games, but people seem a lot more solitary in real life.
Yeah, people can be hostile, and going up to randoms in the street and asking them questions could get negative responses. Putting your safety and comfort first is key here.
If you want to increase your interaction with the general world, you could limit it to a smile and a ‘Good morning!’ Talking to people on public transport is nice: I remember once I was on a train with a friend who was going to move to Belgium, and we were talking about this while eating lemon sherbets. A person sitting across from us asked her where in Belgium she was moving, and we all started talking – it was really good, and sometimes it feels so much more rewarding than sitting in silence.
Shop queues, or queues for anything, are fair game for friendly chatting. I’ve been known to hand out balloons to people in the street, which can start some interesting conversations. I just find talking to new people so fun, because it makes a change from everyday life, and you can discover all kinds of things, and all types of people.
Basically, the idea is to take what life gives you and use it to your advantage, aiming to become more open and adventurous in what you do. I’ve got a metaphor to describe this as well: variety is the spice of life!