The game we all live in


Life is nothing but a game. You are the player in it.

We live a gamified world, where leveling up and experience (or XP, in gaming terms) are increasingly more important. We seek to grow and develop our skills as individuals as well as achieve certain ambitions or goals in the long run – whether this would be obtaining epic stuff or hitting the gym multiple times a week. We operate in a world, where gaming, ultimately, is an inherent part of everything we do.

In this world, belonging to a group, clan, or guild becomes important, even mandatory. These groups have an essential meaning to the individual, as they convey a sense of belonging and protect the player from dangerous things and people. Our team mates give us the core reason to continue playing, despite potential adversities. They make the raids to dungeons – that is, adventures to mythic places – worthwhile. They support the individual; they give the player guidance and a helping hand when one is needed.

As in gaming worlds, in real life too, there are diverse types of people seeking to establish fame and fortune. There are ordinary humans and odd orcs. To give a few, more specific, examples, we range from tough warriors and cunning rogues to altruistic priests and two-faced druids. Typical for these characters is also their capability for continual, stepwise self-development through the receipt of different types of rewards and prizes, or even medals. Herein, exploration and discovery for the purpose of obtaining items or assets prove central. Thus, professions may be pursued and skills may be improved in a gamified manner in both worlds.

Similarities between games and real world can be found in many other areas too. For instance, healing oneself every once in a while becomes a central part of the process. Herein, the consumption of various types of potions – that is, medicines – or even the reliance on revival (i.e., invigorating CPR) becomes necessary for adequate health and vitality. Secondly, it is possible to capitalize on the lure effect, for example, by using enticing fragrances (so-called 'incense'). Also, alluring 'modules' can be employed by giving out free food or stuff to people, among many other things. People are sure to flock. Finally, one needs to charge one's batteries every once in a while in order to keep playing. This means resting from all the running to power up or utilizing external means for energy.

Eventually, life is nothing but one big game, where you battle to improve yourself; your agility, stamina, spirit, strength, and intellect. You are the player of your life. It is an ever-lasting quest for honor, prestige, excitement, and marvel; an addictive and joyous world full of enticing opportunities and possibilities. Now, excuse me while I go and grind so that I can witness instances filled with happiness and enriching experiences. Some may call it serendipity, I call it 'lucky egg'. 

FTW, ppl, FTW!

Text written by Krista Palmu, a TEDxOtaniemi volunteer

– a former lvl 70 mage in WoW & a current lvl 23 pokemon trainer in team Mystic –