The Diseased Imaginings of a Tainted Mind
Life is not Monopoly.
Monopoly is the kind of game where you get to pick a little model, a dog, or a top hat to represent you, and then everyone takes it in turns to move around the board. Success is measured in only one way: Money. Funny Money. The one with all of the money at the end wins.
Life is not Monopoly.
There is a tendency in modern society for everyone to assume that we are all playing the same game. That we all have the same win condition. That everyone’s win condition(s) are the same. Family, Money, Children. That these win conditions are what everyone should be compared too.
People are tricked into believing this, because like so many MMO’s, we are all playing on the same server. We can see everyone else’s character, and we are all stuck by the same set of game mechanics, rules, and laws. For many people, this means that we must be all working to the same set of win conditions.
It is this frame work that mean that people feel that it is necessary to point out how far ahead of the ‘game’ they are to all those around them. Look at me, I’m winning.
“Your Job earns 15K? well, yes, mine only gets me 21K…”
The problem is that we’re not all playing the same game. We’re just in the same world. My goals, are not your goals. We might have the same set of achievements available to us (Get Married: Achievement Unlocked, Get a House: Achievement Unlocked…), but that doesn’t mean that we all want them.
The best analogy here is that we’re all playing different character types. You’re playing, say, a Money Grabbing Bastard, and I’m playing, say a Filthy Hippy. This means that sure, I can Get Married, and get the bonuses that go with it, but they don’t have as many bonuses for my character. In fact, having money isn’t going to get me as much life XP as it would for your Money Grabbing Bastard. You can also get the achievement “Went To Glastonbury, and do not remember”, but you wouldn’t get anything out of it.
The problem with the Media, with Television, and with the appearance of popular culture is that everyone is playing Basic White Male as a race, and Money Grabbing Bastard as a class. Except that we’re not. In the last update, the worked out that gender is predominantly irrelevant to most achievements, and so is race. Our Character Model can (and should) look however we damn well please, because that shouldn’t stop us from getting the most important achievement “Happiness”.
Society would be so much better if people were just honest about it.
We’ve all had conversations where we say things like “I’ve just got achievement X, I’m so psyched” to have someone respond with “Oh, yeah, but I got X, then Y.” generally in a dismissive term. For them, they are far ahead of you in the game, and they are showing how much better they are at it. What they fail to understand is that achievement has a completely different meaning, and requirement for your Race/Class/Goal combination. If everyone just realised that, when someone shares their achievement, it’s because from their perspective, their character, their goal, it’s a big thing, not a challenge, not an attack, not a test to see who’s winning, but simply wanting to share with a friend their achievement, and everyone just damn well celebrated the world would be a better place.
Life is a game. It’s not competitive. It’s generally co-operative. Sure you can play it competitively, but mostly your playing against yourself, or your own imagined competitor. Even those who seem to be playing the same game as you, are playing a subtly different version, with different difficulties and side-quests.
That’s why someone gives up a career to live in Borneo. That’s why someone else works in a job they hate. They are playing a different game.
We can help each other, we can show other people cheat guides. We can give in-game money, support, and products to other people. We can show them the routes we took. We can give them all the advice about the things we’ve learned. For some it will help. The core mechanics are the core mechanics. We can’t however demand that they chase our goals, because that’s not their game.
If you are one of those people that believes that this game of life has only one set of goals, one set of win-conditions, and are instant that that’s the game everyone should play, stop it.
Seriously, Stop It.
Your ruining the game for everyone.
Yes, folks, it had to happen sooner or later. Water has been found on the red planet, Mars. Initially this might not seem such a big thing, but it means that, at some point, water in it’s fluid form may have been found in abundance on the surface, which means that there is the possibility that life happened on Mars.
Not complex life, perhaps, as we know it, but small bacterial life, small single cell, or simple multi-cell organisms.
Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6, NRSV
This is one of those lines that quite annoys us liberals. It seems to portray a very narrow-minded view of God, and not one that sits quite happily with our view. Indeed, it was a topic of some small discussion at a lecture last Friday. I personally have been struggling with this statement, so often used by the American Evangelical Conservatives to prove that those that who don’t believe are doomed.
However, I was reading ” Dear Rowan, Please Save the C. Of E.”
A fascinating book, by a self-confessed heretic, and former Unpaid Priest of Upton in England. The book itself is fascinating, and it is interesting to find out that his licence to serve as a Parish Priest was revoked because of some of his actions and Theology.
In the closing pages of this book, I found a reference to Bishop John Robinson, a New Testament Scholar, who wrote the book Truth is Two-Eyed
I’ve not read this book, though it may be worth getting out of the library to take a look. Anyway, here’s the section from “Dear Rowan” that caught my eye:
Those opposed to liberals, especially liberals like me who regard other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism as equal to Christianity, usually quote the words ascribed to Jesus in John’s Gospel: ‘No one comes to the Father but by me.’ Bishop John Robinson, a great New Testament scholar, became an acquaintance of mine, and something of a mentor, in the final months of his life. He presented to me a copy of what he regarded as his finest book, Truth is Two-Eyed in which he argues that this saying should be interpreted in the light of John’s opening verses, which provides the theological prism through which the rest of the Gospel should be interpreted. Jesus is identified with the eternal Logos, the divine Word that is the agent of all creation, and is present throughout creation. Thus we should expect to find that all people, of any religion or none, possess an innate knowledge of the divine; the path of Christ is to deepen that knowledge.
This is not a view that the Author, Rev. Robert Van de Weyer holds, but it started ringing bells for me. It shows that the line “I am the Truth, the Way, and the Light” is something much deeper, much more profound than a simple reading of it would suggest. Here you can see the divine “call” that circulates through everyone, that connection to the other that exists within, and throughout everyone. The call that gives rise to superstitions, other forms of religion, other access to the divine. It’s an answer that I’m sure I knew when I was much, much younger, but have forgotten between now and then. It was nice to have it brought to life, and even better to be able to put it here, with references for those who might be struggling with this particular piece of the Bible, as I was.