People who say that life is not a game have obviously never played card games, dice games, poker, or Chutes and Ladders
. They also have never played or paid much mind to the game Mouse Trap
. They are wrong. Life is a game. Not a fair game, not a clearly defined rules game, but it is still a game. You roll the dice and take your chances.
You might think that I am going to write about the unfairness of the game of life, but in that you would be wrong. I am not going to be writing about that at all. What I am doing is simply saying that life is a game - Because it is. That's not all it is, of course. But it is still indeed a game.
I will admit that for some people life is more a game than it is for others. Those others don't believe themselves to be in a game, but that does not matter. It is still a game that they are part of, albeit unknowingly.
So when people scoff and roll their eyes at me, saying very dismissively that my time spent in the virtual world of Second Life
is a childish waste, is not important, because it is "just a game" and nothing done in it is real, I beg to differ.
I know full well that one day everything I've done in Second Life
will come to nothing. It will all become meaningless, unimportant, will dissipate and disappear, but that is no different than what will happen in my First Life
: Everything I've done, accomplished, said, or written, will be forgotten. That is true for all of us, whether we believe it or not.
I live in my First Life
I also live in my Second Life
. During the COVID pandemic I've been able to gather with people, sightsee, swim, ski, ride horses, dance, boat, fish, and more. I've designed and built landscapes, towns, and venues. I've lived outdoors most of the time, never in fear of disease or injury. While other people in my first life have been confined to their homes, stuck watching an endless stream of Netflix, I've been out dancing at a crowded concert with many other people. Which of us have lived, and which of us have simply existed
? I think that I am the one who has lived.
This Wednesday my Second Life wife
and I will be celebrating our 4th Wedding Anniversary
. We will be hosting a party at a venue that I designed and built from the ground up. There will be dancing, food, drink, wine, and of course music. We will be sharing the experience with our friends, with extended family, and some people we've never met before. Does it really matter that we are doing this virtually
rather than in our first life
I am sure that some of our first life
relatives think so. They will get onto Facebook or a Video Cam and talk dismissively to others about how Mark and Maria are playing that
game again, making believe that we are married, are living a real life, that doing it in SL
is actually a real thing. They will scoff, they will mock, they will dismiss. They will laugh and they will sneer. They will be doing all of that by means of Virtual Communication
is how people interact with others without being in the same room, same city, same town, or same country. Phone calls, cam calls, instant messaging, video teleconferencing, social networking, these are all forms of virtual communication
. They are all also forms of virtual relationships
There is a long history of people who've had long distance relationships, most never actually meeting each other in person. Famous poets, writers, politicians, actors, and everyday people, sending letters back and forth with another person, exchanging thoughts and ideas, hopes and dreams, and also love. This is one form of a Virtual Relationship.
It is often the case that the person who is closest in your heart and mind isn't a person who is in the same room. Second Life
is a Virtual World
, another existence. Yes, some people do treat it like a game, others consider it a game, and even more dismiss it as make-believe. It is not make-believe. It is just another form of Virtual Communication and Relationship. It is a Second Life
you can exist in alongside your first life.
Yes, I am younger in my Second Life than I am in my First Life. I am younger, healthier, slimmer, and have more hair in Second Life
. That is true. It is, after all my Second chance at
Life. There are many debates concerning the differences between the virtual
and the actual
, and those too have value, but for me it boils down to the old saying, "You are as young as you feel.
body is not young, but I feel young in my mind and soul. And while that is a truth of my life, it is almost impossible to actualize it in my first life. My body, endurance, health, and age, doesn't allow me to enjoy the potential of that. In my Second Life, however, I can and do use all of the potentials and ability of that youthful mind.John O'Donohue
was an Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher. He wrote this most quotable quote [From Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom]:"You are as young as you feel. If you begin to feel the warmth of your soul, there will be a youthfulness in you that no one will be able to take away from you."
No one will be able to take away from you, yes, but they WILL try to. And the one who will try most often is yourself
, if you allow it, and pay heed to those other people. They will continually talk about how you need to "get real" and live in the real world. They will say this after posting something on Facebook, or hanging up a video call, and then turning on the television while also adjusting the fit of their adult diapers.
They will sit there scoffing at your Second Life, while shifting around in their own piss and poo, telling you that you need to get real
. Well, that real life isn't for me. Sitting through an entire TV series on Netflix while not having to get up to go to the bathroom, that really isn't for me.
I will live my Virtual Life
and Love Life
and enjoy it.
Life is a game, be it actual or virtual. All life these days is virtual to some extent. It is how you live it that matters. I live it well in both worlds, as much as I am able to, and for as long as I am able to.
I will not waste either chance at life, even though I know that all life is transitory - both the first, second - And beyond.