We have spent the last little while working through defining what concept of the game is or isn’t. None of the actual detail yet – but the overarching ideas.
Now it’s time for the next step. What role are we playing in this?
We already explained how the underlying biological will of life is to survive and live long enough to reproduce – but as you can see, we live in a far more complicated world as humans than the one the planet began in. What role does a modern human play?
I have some ideas on this- whether they are true or not is for you to decide. I merely hope to trigger some questions in your mind on how to approach your own definition of the player. This entire exercise is after all subjective, you will build YOUR game. Nobody else’s.
What makes a player in a game?
Before entering reality, you have to understand the virtual archetype you are emulating. An RPG player is someone playing the game, they have skills/progressions, the belong to a certain group/tribe (selected or preassigned), they usually have an enemy or main objective that guides their whole journey. They usually play a key role in the narrative.
The beautiful thing about the human experience is that every individual is living their own narrative and you don’t have to save the world to feel like the main player. Imagine watching all the MCU movies – each hero has his own arc and origin and they all feel like their own main characters – yet they all come together and live in a meta narrative for the Avengers / Team up films.
This is precisely what the player is emulating in real life. First they must define their own stories, then (if you choose) participate in the meta narrative – you can be a part of something greater.
But are you even willing to become the player?
There is definitely a sizeable population that wants nothing do with the trials, tribulation, and sacrifice of becoming a player. The player’s path is a path of great pain and great reward.
Most are comfortable with the path of the NPC. This is what society has bred you to be and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. To be a shopkeeper or a tavern owner – admirable. To be a software dev or doctor – perfectly ok. Imagine the stability in routine, the ability to put down roots, make consistent friends and chase the trappings of the world rather than play any specific game.
But….much like virtual NPC’s you are at the mercy of the game. This is also one of the reasons I suspect you are here…
You know you are an NPC. You live the same day over and over. A sense of brain fog perhaps and no sense of control over your life. You want to be a player in order to FEEL something. For the NPC – life happens TOO them, they are not attacking life.
The game is not on your side either. It will not secure your safety and we see this with the current global economic crisis and climate change. You are merely an expendable asset that earns for someone else. You hate that feeling don’t you? But what is one to do?
The path of the player is so fraught with danger/risk and the path of the NPC leaves you in a state of despair. You have two core options:
- Work on yourself as a player would but do not partake in larger narratives.
- Find other NPC’s asap.
I will begin with the second one first. All I suggest by this is that if you know you are truly weak and incapable of major growth and change and refuse to see any other outcome. Your social life should be your highest priority. You will find strength in numbers and social bonds. Commit to rectifying this at the bare minimum.
But I will say this though, don’t be surprised by who you attract if you choose this path. Players have no reason to associate with anyone on this path except to take advantage of them/their services. And anyone interesting is not likely seeking safety in numbers or on this path. Find your tribe of chill people who listen to lo-fi music and go on trips with it.
The first choice is all about going from NPC to player. Reality is, we are all NPC’s in some shape or form right now unless billionaires/mega millionaires are reading this blog. You have to de condition the NPC out of your system like a bad cold. There is only one way to truly do this.
Leaving the comfort zone on a regular basis. Learning and tackling new things on the regular. Visiting new locales. And tracking that progress as best you can.
Conquer your fears and unlock a power greater than most. This is the path to playerdom.
But I am not born with any special traits/or class.
This will be the primary excuse. The enemy of my clan did not kill my whole family. I was not subjected to experiments that made me superhuman. I was not bestowed with being super smart or rich even.
What is a person supposed to do? You might not have the tragic backstory needed to be a protagonist but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the library. All it takes more often then not is reading the right books for a skill you enjoy and even the slowest amongst us can get somewhere in 3-5 years. (More on this in a skill building post in a future).
This is the beauty of being a player in this particular game. To be a blank slate is not a death sentence – it is merely a choice. Pick a direction, pursue it, if you don’t like in your heart – then pick something else. Picking up new interests/changing careers is not failing – it’s simply enjoying the game in new ways. So please, I encourage you to reframe it as best you can. If you are reading this then I assume you have internet and can enjoy all there is to learn between google and youtube alone.
In future posts I will cover how I track my skills and the like, but for now I hope I get your brain churning on how to adopt the player mentality/what a player does and what paths could potentially exist for you. I’m aware of the current quality of the posts right now , I do wish to improve it but I have a very busy thirty days so this is the best I can promise for now. Thank you for your patience.
See you next time.