Week 19: Gamification of life. Art as a game.

On Tuesday I bought watercolours for the first time. I paid $70. Some video games are $70.

Buying paints reminded me of buying a new video game.

Except, unlike the usual video game that is completed/exhausted under 100 hours- painting would last forever.

Life as a giant game

Picking up a new profession or skill can be like playing a new video game.

The benefit about these skills, are that they never expire.

In World of Warcraft it was once cool to be the maximum level of 60, lead guilds through giant dungeons, and slaughter your foes. You would be feared in the allied lands, be famous in your hometown, and have a community of friends to back you up.

However, lets fast forward time.

Sometimes, the skill and dedication put into WoW doesn't translate to life as well as a non-gaming skill.

Don't get me wrong though, I LOVE gaming. I think it's very valuable for many people.

People scoff about gaming being a useless skill, and I'm not one of those. Owning a guild in WoW and managing your clan teaches you much about relationships and politics. e.g. "Who do I appoint admin?" "James is a good player, but he cannot lead teams and welcome newcomers..." "If I appoint someone newer to the guild, James will be pissed at me that his rank was 'overtaken'". "I'll have to talk to him about it.". There's a lot of invaluable communication skills that can be learnt in game.

Another example would be buying and selling merchandise in a market where prices are known by word of mouth (Runescape). In game you can sell 'rune essence' for 30 gold pieces rather than 15gp. But how long will you have to wait for a buyer? At 30gp it would take awhile to sell, but 15gp would sell instantly. Would the time spent trying to sell at a higher price undermine your total time spent in general? Would it be more efficient use of time to sell lower and just manually acquire more resource? There's much to learn about bargaining and time management.

The skills learnt in gaming are important. But at the end of the day the actual game will expire. It's sad but a undeniable truth. Games are rapidly developing. Most were never made to be played forever.

However, what about a skill like 'art'? Or dance?

These are more tangible skills to real life. If you become a master painter in art- not only does the game never 'expire', you can get paid!

You can play the art game with friends and gain experience within the craft. You move from beginner to pro. There's different skill levels and different geographical levels. It's an unending game with limitless possibilities. How exciting!

In fact when you become good at a few different games, you can create games within games. For example if you become good at the programming and art game, you can make a virtual game.

Perhaps virtual games, i.e. video games, are simply a sub-game of real life?

Video games are cheaper to invest in, and easier to progress. However they cap easily. When you've played GTA V for 10 hours, you're getting to an intermediate level. When you've been painting for 10 hours, you're probably still at level 1. Contrastingly, when you've played GTA for 200 hours, you've by and large finished the game in it's entirety. But, when you've painted for 200 hours, you're still a long way to finishing. GTA V is a large game. But painting is a larger game that never ends.

Yay.

Till next time homiesz!