I have been thinking (ha, isnt this how a lot of my posts start?) for a long time about RPGs and the similarity to real life, and if lessons can be extrapolated. A big thing I have been stuck on, is why does work generally suck where we ‘grind’ our lives away, but in an RPG we suffer the grind for some reward at the end. What is the difference, what is the reward at the rpg end that we enjoy or at least willingly grind for, whereas in life we try to avoid the grind as much as possible? I do not have an answer yet, only thoughts.
However, one thing I recently came aware of was if we could ‘hack’ ourselves better gear (money, abilities, items etc) would we, and would it make us happier? Surprisingly I believe the answer is NO.
Think about this for a moment, I am talking about a substantial increase, like winning the lottery, realizing you are actually twice as strong, you got a surprise new car, anything along these lines. ‘How could I not be happy?’ well…that is the point. I think the initial jubilation rapidly, and very rapidly turns to melancholy or disinterest simply because we DID NOT EARN IT.
I recently started a new rpg game, and found out there were hacks where I could instant-kill everyone, never die etc ‘whoa cool’! right? But in reflection, I was like ‘why the fuck would I do this, it would destroy the fun of the game, and what could be ‘fun’ would turn into something not fun, simply because I had broke the game.’
I have had hacks for games before, and quite frankly they are insanely funny, I remember I had a map hack for DOTA and could completely rape, I have had other instantkill hacks for rpgs etc, and while they are fun…they get old. And once they are old, you are left with a destroyed game that you do not even want to play legitimately anymore.
In real life I am reminded of college where I worked as a tutor beyond my classes, the work was generally not that hard, but certainly took a lot of time I’d have rather been doing elsewhere, but I saved my money and after a year bought a badass mountain bike I had my eye on. It was great, I loved that bike with pride…I HAD EARNED THAT SHIT.
I had a very rich friend, and upon seeing my bike, within a week went out and bought a better bike, she was happy riding it around…she had some gear hacked to her basically, she did not grind for it, and within a month that bike was outside, unused and forgotten.
Now, I am not saying to go grind for 7$ an hour, but I am saying it is ALL the difference between earning something, and being given something. That by being given it, we inherent value it less, and may make the rest of our life worse.
This is a pretty high level lesson here, abandon it at your own loss.