We as humans are hardwired for victory. We need to achieve in our lives. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, “Esteem” comes after “Love,” “Safety” and “Biological” needs (like air and food). Esteem comes from achievement, status, responsibility, reputation. Victory may not be as important as air, but it is still an important part of being a healthy human.
Each of us seeks and recognizes achievement in different ways, but the desire is there in each of our hearts. It is this desire that compels athletes, students or professionals to excel.
It is why video games are such an addictive pastime in today’s world. Because you are constantly achieving; Defeat the monsters, gain treasure, gain fame, gain stature. There is some sort of victory to be attained, then once you reach it there is yet another level to pass, boss to defeat, treasure to claim. Video games is a way for people to attain that feeling of victory without having to risk anything in real life. If anyone doubts that video games are addictive, check the statistics. Video games as an industry passed Hollywood several years ago. Why? In a movie you get to watch someone else achieve victory. In a game, you get to achieve the victory yourself.
I’m not going to point fingers and accuse anyone of wasting their lives (since I spent decades playing Dungeons & Dragons), but the point is, we crave victory. And when we don’t get it in life–by succeeding financially, athletically or personally–we seek it out in our virtual life. Or in our kids accomplishments. Or in softball leagues.
I know this metaphor may not be for everyone… But live your life like a video game. Always strive for victory (defeat the boss). When you achieve a victory in your life, set a goal for your next victory (level 65!). When you fail, get back up immediately (call it a “respawn” if that helps).
Remember that victory is inevitable if you keep on playing the game. I’m still talking in metaphor here, quit playing the actual video game and start setting some goals for your real life.
I almost hate to ask this, but here goes: What other life lessons can we learn from video games?