Monday, 17 November 2008

Life's a Game


I had the shock of my life over the weekend!

I was playing Oblivion because I was tired of reading (and this is saying something) and I had nothing else to play. As I was trying to level my character's destruction magic level so I can use my newly acquired Fingers of the Mountain spell to electrocute those pesky wolves that just seem to pop up everywhere in the wilderness, I had a scary thought. "Real" life is a lot like and RPG - you get born and start to level up. Take for example the things I want to do next year; get my drivers' license, work as an English tutor, work as a linguistics tutor, finally complete my degree, work on a super cool thesis for Honours the following year, go to lots of rock shows and so on. I seriously want to do all these things but when I list them they smack of leveling up in society don't they. I'm crazy scared of having achieved a list of things but never having enjoyed them. That's what counts for me, the life lived in those achievements and failures.

When I first played Oblivion everything was okay and I enjoyed it, especially the Dark Brotherhood quests and then I realised that all you ever do is go on quests in this game. Many of these quests are cool, especially if you have a high level character who can bash the nonsense out of bandits or hurl deadly Wizard's Fire at unsuspecting necromancers, but they get repetitive very quickly. I was so sick of exploring caves and elven ruins by the end of the game that I almost threw up. If real life is like this I will most definitely throw up. I was speaking to a very dear friend on the phone last night and we were discussing how predictable life often is; school, work, retirement. I already lead a half strange life so I'm happy that my path through life is not a graceful arc but a herky jerky line like Jimmy Tock's (minus the clowns and the violence). People who lead these perfect lives where everything happens as planned are probably sad. I sometimes hate my life, I sometimes love it and sometimes I wonder about the weirdness of it all. I prefer my schizo life to 'perfection' though, I think it's fun.

My advice to you: be strange and don't be like a character in Oblivion who does nothing but level up but has no real joy.

Check out this video for some inspiration: Dragonflies & Astronauts
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