Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Nature of Gamer

We all know the story about the ancient "trickster" called Sisyphus. How he played the gods one against the other and ended up in Tartarus pushing a boulder to the top of the hill, only to start from the bottom as the boulder would roll down. This was the eternal punishment gods came up with for an enterprising man like Sisyphus. To just grind his days away in meaningless task that would drive everyone else insane. As Camus puts it, Sisyphus continues to defy gods even while pushing the heavy boulder on top of the hill with his smile. Gods already punished him with the worst they could come up with, and Sisyphus still smiles, as he knows this is the worst gods can do. And his smile is defiance against which even gods can do nothing. In the end, even in punishment Sisyphus wins.

Some of you probably wonder why open this article with a story about Sisyphus, a man who wronged gods, and ended paying dearly for it. To answer that, I would like to draw your attention to the perseverance and stubbornness Sisyphus displays even when enduring this cruel and unjust punishment. I would like to draw your attention to the inquisitive mind, and ingenuity Sisyphus displays while trying to trick Death (successfully I might add). I would like to draw your attention to the willingness to cooperate with others that Sisyphus displays while trying to ensure people of his city get water.

Now let's translate these characteristics to the modern gamer. Since the dawn of gaming, we knew that there are few things we can do alone. Those older than me probably still remember weird conversations they had with their friends, trying to put together the order of things they had to do in order to progress in any of the old point-and-click games. Others probably experienced a game where they were incapable of making a certain jump and had to put the controller in the hands of their sibling or a friend.

We have known how to cooperate with others from the very start. We knew we couldn't give up, so we often looked for alternatives, this is how guides even came to be. Some people knew how to progress in the game, others did not. One thing that probably defines the gamer more than anything else in my opinion, is the perseverance and willingness to never give up. To try and try again until that wall standing in your way finally cracks and you are able to continue playing the game. Looking for next challenge to crack, new puzzle to solve.

Even in today's age where games are made for every taste, we are still the same. We still like solving problems, puzzles, and progress in the game. If we get stuck, we don't just give up. We know how to find information we need in order to dig ourselves out of the rut. And while some might see that as cheating, I see it as making use of all options that are available. If you started a game of chess and did not know how to move your knight, wouldn't you welcome someone telling you? You would take the advice in good will, and be thankful for it, as this helpful stranger taught you how to play the game, not how to win it. After all asking for help is not a sin, but gamers love to win on their own merits more than anything else.

#Gamer #Sisyphus

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