Adults & Games

Posted by on 24th Mar 2015
{% img /images/2015-03-23-adult-games-4045861217_50199afb04_o.jpg 460 250 'Kid with leaves' %}
Photo credit: I love fall.

Games. They are for kids, right?

I don't believe in this anymore. I believe that we humans never really stop playing. As some often say "the games change, when we get older". But that's not the main point of this post. Yes, they do change, but that's all natural. This post is about the games that we used to play, when we were kids, that we now don't play anymore. The literal games. Running, nagging each other, pulling hair, building sandcastles, and even computer games. There's probably even sex somewhere between these lines.

The older people become, the less fun they make themselves sound like. People don't leave the house anymore, they watch TV instead. People let their work define who they are. The older people get, the further away they come from their inner child. In yoga the body (Or the mind? I forgot.) has layers, and only the most inner layer is our true self. The entire purpose of some meditation is to regain the ability to connect to this inner core. In Zen there's a similar thing.

The entire reason I write this post is that I have long thought about games, and gaming, as adult. I've been playing computer games for my entire life. I wouldn't want to exchange that time, because playing has given me much. But gaming has not only brought good, it has also brought sadness. I was once so clinging onto the non-realistic world of computer games, because it was the only thing I had that has given me a sense of a functioning world. So the decision didn't come easily.

After I had split up, I thought long what role games play in my life. It was around that time that I had discovered writings about games in business. I was thinking long if I would want to let games be part of my life. What kind of adult would that make me? Cool bro, or awkward uncle? How does it compare to others? As you can guess, I decided to make games be part of my life. I decided that I want to continue playing.

The thing is once I made that decision, I wanted to connect with like-minded folks, and realized how many adults don't play. They refuse to (though, by my definition, they don't stop to play -- other story). Many adults even turn up their nose at games. Games are for children. Some don't even play board games.

I see games everywhere. Some people make a game out of writing code. It's a thing they enjoy doing. And see how many businesses have been built by writing code. Some scientists, physicians, and mathematicians play with formulas. Right? A game is something people enjoy doing. A game is challenging, inspiring, hard, but also easy enough that we think we can win. When you talk with a person about something, and you get into their territory of "game". You can ask questions a little bit going in their direction. When they truly love what they are doing, you can see a light in their eyes. I think that fire's called passion.

Games should be seen in a broader sense though. While I personally don't like the teachings of pickup, I can pick up[^horriblejoke] some of the less offensive things these folks write about. One thing people seem to be attracted to, are not necessarily folks who are humorous, but folks who "play" well. That's why people say "that's a game you play". It's for the same reason a lot of musicians refer to love as a game. The Spice Girls (Holler) sing:

Boy dont you hesitate […]
To come and let me take you to my fantasy room
Your gonna like it there and all the things that I'll do […]
I'll be your fantasy, everything you want you will find in me
If you play my game

So if you play her game, that's the thing you get.

Cee Lo Green's Fuck You has the lines:

Yeah I'm sorry,
I can't afford a Ferrari,
But that don't mean I can't get you there.
I guess he's an Xbox and I'm more Atari,
But the way you play your game ain't fair.

I'm sure you get the point. Gaming is entrenched in our language, and, well, sex. We are attracted to people who are playful. People who don't take things so seriously. People who are childish to just be and play, wherever they are. People who stand above the things that culture dictates. There's a certain attraction such behavior builds.

In the English language there's a nice saying:

Being on top of your game.

People who are on top of their game, are confident and conscious enough to know what they are doing. It is used to mean that one is a forethinker, a leader. Someone who is aware of the moment.
So if someone is self-conscious enough to leave the cultural trends, to play a game, and just be. And if that builds so much attraction. How important do you think games are?

And all of this is why I want games to be part of my life. It's not "computer games are cool", or "they exercise reflexes and creative thinking". They flex the mind. When was the last you played? Go play!

[^horriblejoke]: What horrible word play. Word… play… get it?