Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Games Exist in Dreamland

This morning, I walked from point A to point B beside someone else walking in the same direction. I reached point A first ... but I didn't win. Because we weren't playing a game. We were, physically and mentally, in the real world.

Games don't exist in the real world.

In the real world, things simply happen. Objects lie still or move according to the laws of nature. Living things lie still or move according to their needs or desires. Metabolic processes exist in the real world: work, sleep, sex, love, competition. Even play - not imaginative, but physical play that is jubilant or vigorous, such as a cat playing with a ball - exists in the real world.

The real world is where things exist because they exist. Consequences are natural. Amazing, important, fun, or tragic things happen; they are what they are.

Games exist in dreamland. An observer views reality and imposes onto it abstract consequences that do not exist in the real world. A game cannot exist without an observer, a recognition of change, and an evaluation.

That walk becomes a game when I decide that I "win" if I reach point B before - or after, or at the same time that - the person next to me does. If my boss acknowledges me for completing a project. If I am happy that I've found love - not happy from love, but happy from the finding.

Other things also exist in Dreamland: hopes, plans, imaginations, dreams, stories, myths. Worthy neighbors.

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