The Philosophy of Videogames

TL:DR | This idea is truly extraordinary. In life it is essentially the same, the term opportunity cost comes to mind, you choose one path you may fail, choose another however you continue in your story.


4 min read
The Philosophy of Videogames

It is time to level up!

This was originally a post I made on Kotaku, but I wanted to expand upon it on this platform.

Being a gamer myself I understand the beauty and benevolence of games, as well as the philosophy that can come from them. I know I am one of millions although I decided to delve deeper into the philosophical backgrounds in video games.

For example one such idea that when thought about is truly deep, is in The Stanley Parable in this game you play as Stanley a simple man who works for a company and one day suddenly everyone disappears. Now that in of itself is just a description of the game. Delve a bit deeper into the gameplay and you face a fork in the road so to speak, one after the other, choose the right path you end dead, choose the correct path you progress.

This idea is truly extraordinary. In life it is essentially the same, the term opportunity cost comes to mind, you choose one path you may fail, choose another however you continue in your story. Each person in this vast yet puny world has their story with their own fork in the road. One small decision made decide the very life you live. Every one is like Stanley in their own little parable and just like in the game your decisions eventually lead to the end. Maybe that's the end of the chapter or the end your life who knows?

Choosing another game to show this philosophical nature in any game, lets talk about Skyrim. This game is loved by many, including myself, and since I've played 1000+ hours I felt it suiting to discuss. Like most Bethesda games you have the freedom to explore from one side of the map to the other. People like and dislike you by the events and actions you partake in, which is the same in life. Though one major factor is prominent, you're no Dragonborn. Yes I know harsh but its true, none of us are.

We cannot speak to dragons nor can we use magic and such. Yet however the idea of joining guilds and factions and rising to the top, being harbinger of the companions or arch mage can be accomplished in real life. Although in the games the psychology isn't explained its definitely there.

Essentially the people in the group see the actions the player is taking, the nobility, the ferocity in some cases, and following suit. Its the alpha male mentality, now most people think that means "oh he lifts weights and is the most popular guy in school (or workplace)." but really it is someone who takes charge and leadership in any situation rather if the person wants to not. The obligation to lead the people around overwhelms and eventually the person takes a stand. The player takes a stand against the silver-hand who (spoilers) kill the harbinger of the companions, Kodlak. The rest of the companions follow behind him/her and when Kodlak deems the dragonborn to be the new Harbinger, the rest comply due to his/her previous acts of leadership.

My point is life will have its ups and downs, cough cough roller coaster tycoon, and with your decisions it will follow a path. You and only you can cultivate your path your own way, lead the guilds or groups in the way you deem right. If and only if you can step up to the plate just like the dragonborn or Stanley, and choose your "right" path.


Your Paths and Levels

Literally everyone, me writing this, you reading this, and all of the other people on this planet. We are all going through our own Hero's Journey, and leveling up along the way. On my journey I came across the concept of polymathy, and the multidisciplinary people that encompass it. This is a major reason I found myself drawn building up that community, as I felt it was the next logical step not only for myself, but for humanity as a whole.

Homo-Polymathica if you will.

If that is our path, then how do we level up to that point? Well over the two decades of gaming in my life I have learned that it takes the micro and macro in tandem.

Micro to Macro

I created the United Living Construct, now PolyInnovator Construct, to be a method of global unity. Prior to that though the focus was on Self-Development, and usually through the Four Pillars Philosophy.

As you would progress on your own development you would level up in a sense, then more and more people would too. Eventually a community wide level up, and perhaps smart city in place. Then multiple cities in a group, and then eventually the global scale.

Skill Trees

A prominent feature in games are the skill trees they employ for measuring progression, and the allowment of skill unlocking. Over time you learn how to play the game better, and unlock new skills/moves.

Why not apply that in real life? Well in what environment would that fit best? In the workplace? No too many distractions. In the home? No not enough discipline. That leaves school, or our education endeavors.

Thus creating the Modular Degree for a Skill Tree Based Education.


Humanity's Next Level

This is how we level up as a species.

The more we can individually grow, learn, and adapt; Then the farther we can progress as a species.

This is the philosophy that I learned from playing video games in my life. To say that you don't learn anything from games is just ignorant of their potential.

Try playing more games!

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