Playing to Win

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said to me “life is not a game!” when I was growing up. Adults were always trying to make me take the Divine Comedy seriously.

Now that they’ve all made their impressions and I have taken life seriously, I have something to say about the Game of Life.

Life IS a game, a game with yourself as the only opponent. We can either play against ourselves or with ourselves. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see there is no way to win this game under our present definition of winning.

The current gaming criteria says the “winner” is the first to reach the goal, whatever that goal may be. There can only be one winner and the only rule is “all’s fair in love and war” generating the most cutthroat competition imaginable. This makes for one really happy person and a bunch of freekin losers in every game we play.

There is only one answer and that is to change the definition of winning, in fact I’ll do it right here and now.

We are playing a game with ourselves, the only way to win that or any game against any opponent is to learn to play the game well. A lot of people playing to win seem to have forgotten the whole point of playing games… to have fun. The new way to win is to have fun. The only way to lose is by trying to beat others. Your new game won’t be judged on beating everyone else to some imaginary goal, but how much fun you can generate for both you and your opponent.

Think of me as a standards bearer on this one, because a new standard is coming and it’s coming a lot sooner than anyone realizes. Under this new standard, any meta-gamers pulling out every exploit to beat their opponents are just going to look stupid when everyone having fun sees just how hard they’re trying to lose.

Remember, your ONLY opponent is your Self. If you can’t beat ’em… join ’em.