Why the fuck is life so damn hard?
I'm pretty sure this question has been asked countless times since the human race started thinking. You might say that considering all that amount of time, we haven't yet come to useful answers. That wouldn't be true though! There is an immense amount of wisdom in teachings of different religions, mystics, therapists, philosophers and other wise people.
The problem is – getting anything useful from that vast amount of knowledge can often be hard and not that enjoyable. Not everybody enjoys reading spiritual or philosophy books. Not everybody is able to pay for a therapist, not everybody has a mentor.
So, I'm proposing an easier – and much more fun – way to look at things. Together, we'll try to understand how life works and how you can make it work for you by using video game analogies.
I call this approach to therapy and personal growth "theraplayutics". What I want to do is to explain hard-to-grasp psychological, therapeutic and spiritual teachings in a way that's easy to understand for you in order to help you live a better life, deal with your issues, to find happiness and peace. To complete "The Quest".
If that sounds good to you – accept The Quest. Become the hero in your life story! Because…
Life is an RPG!
And as such, it has answers.
Let's look at the most successful and famous RPG series of all time – Diablo. In Diablo, you play as a hero tasked with battling forces of Hell. You'll be killing monsters left and right, picking up better loot, gaining new skills until you're able to kill their leader, the Lord of Terror, Diablo himself.
You have 2 main resources you play with – Health Points (HP) and mana (mana is replaced when playing other characters with their own specific resource, but in this case we'll be talking mana-wise). If your HP gets dropped to zero, your character dies. If you don't have enough mana, you can't cast spells or use skills.
In life, you also have HP and mana. HP represents your physical health – if it drops to zero, you die. Mana represents your mental health – if it drops to zero (maybe you’re overworked, burnt out, depressed), you're not able to function properly, or in the worst case, you go insane.
In Diablo – or in any other RPGs usually – you also have an XP bar. When you kill monsters or other enemies, you get XP points as a reward. As soon as you gather enough XP to fill the XP bar, your character levels up, giving you access to better skills, new spells and improved abilities. You get stronger in order to be able to tackle harder and more devious monsters that the game will throw at you.
Life's the same! Imagine your difficult moments as monsters. If you overcome and learn from them, you get XP too! The harder challenges you overcome, the more you level up, the better skills and abilities you get and are that much better equipped to come closer to completing The Quest. That's why they are called EXPERIENCE points!
Let's say you're facing a hard moment – you want to ask a girl or a boy out, but you're nervous and / or scared. You have 2 options – either you run from the monster (you don't ask him / her out) or you kill it (you do the thing). By killing the monster I mean doing the thing, overcoming the challenge – it doesn't matter what the end result is.
If you run from a monster, you don't get anything. No XP, no loot, no gold, nothing – you stay the same. If you kill it – regardless of the real life result – you get XP, you improve!
In almost every RPG (Undertale being an exception) – if you ran away from every monster that attacked you, you would never be able to complete the game.
Do you see now?
Only by shifting your perspective and viewing all the hard stuff that happens in your life as challenges from which to gain XP, as monsters to kill, only then you can grow as a person. If you run from your problems, from difficult tasks, from your monsters…you'll stay in one place. You'll never be able to proceed further in the game. You will never complete The Quest.
For just one day, try looking at "bad things" that happen to you as monsters to kill, as challenges giving you XP to become stronger.
I promise you that you'll never see life the same way again.
In the next chapter, we'll take a closer look at what The Quest really is – and we'll also answer one big question: What's the meaning of life?
So, this is what I think a good book that really wants to target gaming community should look like. It should try to explain complicated therapeutic, psychological and spiritual stuff in gaming analogies, so it's easy to process.
My plan is to write a chapter each week, put it on a website (I've written 4 chapters so far and the web is up & running, but I don't want to use this opportunity for self-promotion) and when there's enough, I'll edit it into a real book. I want to do this with the help of gaming community so we can create something valuable together.
What are your thoughts on this? Is this a project you see helpful for true gamers?
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© Post "There are no good therapy / self-help books that focus on gaming / gamers without being cheap or cheesy. This is what I think a first chapter from such a book should look like: Life is an RPG!" for game Gaming News.
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