United States of William (USWM)

Life is a RPG


Once upon a time, I found myself immersed in the world of Skyrim, leveling up my character and gazing at the enchanting skies, pondering which attribute to kick up a notch. It was during this gaming session that a sudden realization dawned upon me.

Skyrim, just like my cherished game series Fallout and even Final Fantasy before it, all fell under the broad category of RPGs. These games involve dedicating time to grind on specific tasks, improving the skills and attributes of our characters within the games universe. It was a continuous cycle of pushing their capabilities in various disciplines, seeking growth and competence in this direction and that. And in that moment, it became clear to me why such games resonated with people like myself. They offered a unique opportunity to start from scratch with a character and shape them into anything we desired. We are motivated to put in the effort because the reward was evident—an immense sense of pride and accomplishment.

This forced to the surface one hell of an ugly truth about life. These games represented an attractive, almost easy path, despite any simulated difficulties, as compared to the challenges of real-world self-improvement. In reality, we all wish to level up our competencies in disciplines that enhance our lives and positively impact others. However, we often find ourselves unmotivated when faced with the realities of our "starting hand" of stats. Starting from zero is attractive because, some of us have allowed our stats to fall into the red.

In Skyrim, our characters are rocking a Stamina level of 95, yet many of us would struggle to ride a mountain bike on rough terrain for more than a few minutes. Likewise, our Intelligence might also reach the high 90s early in the game, yet a shocking majority of us haven't read more than a dozen books in the last twelve months, or even years.

The allure of escaping to these virtual worlds becomes irresistible, acting as a refuge from the painful journey of self-improvement in the real world. It's easier and, in a sense, lazier to venture into these fictional realms rather than facing the realities of leveling up in our actual real lives. The ones your Mother and Grandmother see with their eyes. Life is an RPG, but the challenge lies in embracing the pain that comes along with leveling up and doing whatever it takes to get after it and become the best versions of ourselves.

Disclaimer: I actually ran this post thru spell check xD