Is a game, just a game?
Throughout history many forms of ‘games’ has made their appearance, served their time, and then disappeared without a trace. A few games have remained in memory, and new games are thought out, and developed every day, and the amount of games will increase till the eventual day when society becomes the totalitarian pseudo reality as portrayed in ‘Equilibrium’. But with all these games and all it’s part in history has one thing in common: It’s just a game.
Games are made for entertainment right? Even the ancient gladiator games was thought to be entertaining and impersonal, as impersonal as killing a ‘bot’ in Counter Strike. But are games really that detached?
To understand the answer, we must first understand the game. What is a game? The American heretige dictionary states that a game is:
1. an amusement or pastime; diversion
2. a contest with rules, the result being determined by skill, strength, or chance
3. a single period of play in such a contest, sport, etc.
This makes sense, but then why do we play games. We all enjoy various forms, but why do we do it?
A game is real life, shown in a different, simple and controllable way. Anything from ancient gladiators, to cat and mouse n kindergarten, Chess, Poker, Video games, Monopoly, Doctor doctor, why near most games can be categorized as being some controllable presentation of something each living person needs to deal with in their life. Is this why we play? Perhaps to practice, simulate or experience something we have never done by ourselves? Or maybe its a thing that helps us process all the mistakes and bad choices we had by creating the ideal and perfect version of what we wish we had. There must be a reason we find it entertaining. Entertainment is defined as: Something that amuses, pleases, diverts and provokes pleased interest and distracts you from worries and vexations. Maybe that’s why we want to be ‘entertained’ after a hard day at school or work, or why entertainment is the thing you crave most when all else tumbles to ruin. We want to be shown what we would’ve liked to do, not what we have to do.
If games are a representation of life, then maybe it explains why we are severely disappointed when losing a game. When we consider it logically, losing at Starcraft 2 or landing on a hotel in Monopoly is meaningless in life and all its facets, yet we are disappointed. Now that we know this, I can explain the point I want to make with this short post: If games are like life, then life must be like games to a certain degree. If we are disappointed at losing in games, then it justifies being disappointed when losing in life. When we say ‘It’s just a game’ when losing at games, doesn’t it contradict the very reason we play them, to actually, WIN? Are we allowed to be just as, or more distraught and angry in life, as when losing at games? If games are for entertainment, why is losing so terrible?
Terms like: ‘be a man’, ‘life is unfair’, and ‘move on’ makes me think of all the disappointment I had faced. Maybe everyone should stop being so hypocritical, maybe it’s all, ‘just a game’.