The following piece was written by Brian Wilmeth, a 25 year old aspiring author (and gamer) from Park Slope, Brooklyn. He is currently working on a book entitled “Life is More Like a Video Game Than You Think” (working title), and in it he describes many ideas how life is basically one big game and we’re all essentially just trying to “level up” in a sense. We here at DualShockers have been fortunate enough to have the author of the piece send us a condensed a version, one of which we can share with our readers. It isn’t the chapter you will see when the book is published, but more of a detailed summary of what your can expect when it is. We will run this as a weekly series, giving all of the readers out there an exclusive chapter per week. Check back often, as this young and hungry author seems to have a real hit in his hands. Enjoy the reading.
Chapter 3: Attitudes Towards Video Games and Life
How come it seems to me that some of my friends enjoy video games so much, but fail to have that same attitude towards their daily life? Aren’t term papers and 9-5 jobs as exciting as slaying dragons and casting spells? Wouldn’t you play a game if the goal was to write your final paper and be graded on it? Probably not. What if the goal was to collect as much trash in the park as you can in a limited amount of time? Well, maybe that would be more fun. What if the trash is guarded by traps, and monsters, and there are items that make you go faster, jump higher, and grow bigger. Now were starting to have a video game.
Life isn’t necessarily as fun as a video game for a lot of us. Does it have to be that way? I would argue that it actually doesn’t. I’ve seen people who’s eyes light up in joy at the simplest things. There was on girl I met who loved to feed the homeless. Another person I knew looked at a piece of blue tape and got all excited when she realized it looked like “regal blue” (a type of blue).
Kids are the easiest examples. A kid can be ecstatically happy on a ferris wheel. Yes.. A Ferris Wheel. And of course there are lovable dogs who are filled with joy when going on their daily walk. So YEAH, there is happiness outside of video games!
That wasn’t the case with me for the ages of 6-20. Happiness = Video Games = Happiness. Well, maybe I was happy doing other things too, but the majority of it was video games. I don’t remember every video game I’ve played and enjoyed but the order of games which had a notable happy effect on me were as follows.
From childhood forward in the order played (as best as I remember).
Super Mario Bros, Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros 2, Mega Man 1, Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Adventure Island, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past, Super Metroid, Secret of Mana, Star Fox, Final Fantasy III, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy II, Secret of Evermore, Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, Mario 64, Star Wars: Shadows of The Empire, Star Fox 64, Age of Empires II, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Alpha Centauri, Metroid II: Return of Samus, Diablo, Diablo II, Civilization II, Warcraft III, Metroid Prime, World of Warcraft, Civilization IV, and Super Mario Galaxy!
I don’t think I listed every good game I played, but those games, alone has had to take at least a year or 2 of my entire life. A year or 2 well spent too. The happiness was immense. But at one point, I got bored. By the age of 21 it felt like I had done everything I could possibly do on a screen. I gave up for the most part (with the exception of Super Mario Galaxy). Life started to head into new unexplored territory. It was at this point in life that I started to look for more meaning. I started with pursuing money and women. I read tons of books on how to pursue these 2 things. I even hired a teacher that taught me how to pickup women off the street. Sometimes it was fun and I even made a video game out of it. I gave myself a certain amount of experience points each time I went up to a woman and started a conversation, each time I got a phone number, each time I got a date, each time I got a kiss, each time I got laid. Well, I stopped after I got laid. I think I was a level 42 pickup artist by that time. (my teacher must have been around level 10,000 according to my rules). I don’t know what my obsession is with leveling up, but if doing that can make the process more fun, why not?