- Quality of Life & Wellness
6 reasons why life is a game
We can often hear people pronounce this phrase: life is a game. Although, we tend to define life in many other ways and comparing it to many other phenomena, but it seems that by defining life as a game we have achieved the most universal definition of the mystery of life. By proclaiming this, we are not just plainly repeating some old theory by Johan Huizinga and his “homo ludens” – the playing man. No, these 6 reasons why life is a game are away from all cultural connotations and they explain this from a position that is common to all of us and is easier to be understood.
Now, let’s start:
6. Neither too hard nor too easy: This might be one of the most important things when one asks himself why does life resemble a game. Living is boring and has tendency to lose its meaning when it gets too easy. People do not like to be helpless, and living a secure life where everything is provided without any effort from their side just gives them the feeling of helplessness. But, the same feeling is given by very tough circumstances. It is senseless to play a very tough game where you certainly can’t win – imagine a boxing match between competitors from two diametrically opposite categories – it is meaningless to both of them.
5. Makes sense only when we are “in”: We have seen some very enigmatic games. And we have seen some enigmatic lives. In fact, all games are like that if we do not know the rules, but the most important: if we do not take our part in them! A puzzle game looks foolish to us if we do not combine the pieces ourselves, a computer game looks like a waste of time if we are not the ones pressing the keys, a play with a cat is completely idiotic if we “just don’t get it”. Being “in” life means that we take the action, take the responsibility, if we are the players! It really is futile to just sit and wait for the things to happen.
We feel more alive when playful – we enjoy it: Feeling more alive is the right criteria to know if you understand a certain thing. Spontaneous playfulness is desired to be seen and we admire it in others as we want to achieve it in ourselves. Because, somehow we know that it is the true essence of life. We have been playful at least during our childhood, we have been curious and jumping all over the place without stopping to ask ourselves how foolish it will look to others. And we want youth to come back to us – being playful is a method to call it back.
You win one match, not the entire game: There are many matches to be played during lifetime. You might have been an excellent pupil in primary school, and an excellent football player, but later you became a chain smoker, a poet, a rascal. Or maybe you’ve been a rascal and a loser in high school but today you are a Ph.D. Possibilities are endless, and life consists of many matches, and if you do not try to win the recent ones you will surely fail as a person. That’s why people say “you might have won the battle but you have not won the war”, and the opposite also goes.
Players change, game stays there: The game is something much vaster then a player. There are many players involved, each craving for its five minutes of glory. And, eventually, players will leave the game – some will give up, some will retire, some will leave the world and so on. But, the game stays. Rules might change a bit from time to time, but not as rapidly as players do.
It is better to think of it as a game: Even if we see life as a serious occurrence, or we cannot explain it completely – and no one really can – it is better to translate our vision of life to a playful one. There really are no big philosophical secrets how life works, and even if they are, they may or may not be true and correct, but embracing life as a game is the ultimate and instant achievement of these secrets. Because it means to leave fear behind, it means to try, at least once, to embrace the fullness and feel the richness of the world around us and within us.