Virtual Excitement

Imagine you’re playing a game, it’s a virtual world filled with little characters running around. They all wake up at sunrise, gather food, eat, gather more food, eat, then go to sleep at sunset. There’s nothing more to the game. Everything goes according to plan and everything is in perfect harmony. Is it a fun game? Of course not, it’s a boring waste of time.

Now imagine a similar game, a virtual world filled with little characters running around. But here, calamity often strikes, resource shortages occur, and characters quarrel. Little goes according to plan and harmony is a sought-after but never achieved state. Is it a fun game? Yeah, imbalance is the foundation of most games.

If life wasn’t a game, a smoothing balance would occur over time. Yet as it is, turbulence of shifting varieties keeps the boat rockin’. Life will never reach a balanced state, and we wouldn’t want it to. Do we desire boredom? No, never, it’s literally the worst feeling ever. We’d rather suffer the harshest pains than submit to boredom. We’ll scare ourselves silly rather than be bored.

I could ignore everything that goes on around me, letting circumstances sail-by like water off a duck’s back, never absorbing — but I don’t. Instead I intently watch, waiting to be triggered. THERE!!! Aha! Now I’m scared! Now I’m angry! Frustrated in fact!! Good! Goooood! I’m energized by these little dramas that keep coming into view!

And that’s it. That’s life in a nutshell. Now you understand why things are the way they are. But games are not only meant to be engaging, but fun — if you’re not enjoying yourself then you’re taking it too seriously, perhaps too personally — lighten up. If flickering pixels make you cry then step back a bit and find another part to focus on.

In a way, you’re at a buffet. Select the stuff you want, and stop getting the stuff that grosses you out. Don’t even look at it, just stick to the stuff that delights your palate. Develop an appreciation for the nicer things in life or you’ll be stuck with the worst stuff possible. Fear and frustration are the easiest ways to get your heart racing, but they’re low-quality options that should be avoided.

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