Game on


Every guy my age dreams of finding the perfect princess. Luckily, I found mine 10 years ago. It was a treacherous journey, I had to fight mysterious strangers, fly on mythological beasts and perform some death defying moves. I am talking about a game called Prince of Persia 3D. My brother and I would play it daily after school in our tenant's room. Later, we upgraded our comp and finally found the princess. Playing computer games or watching my brother play was a great pass time for me as a kid. Role playing games (RPGs) allowed us to play games as a character, we could live our dreams in them. 

I started programming because I wanted to be a game developer, I wished to replicate the magic of the cartoons in my life. I hope someday, I develop an online game that makes a few kids happy. The beauty of gaming is you have to level up constantly, clear challenges to ultimately win. I feel life is similar in this sense. One common misconception about winning is that it's associated with beating someone. It's not always the case. In any situation, we must look for mutual gain. It's like a shopkeeper promising special discounts to every customer for loyalty.

Our society is hard wired for competition, We are programmed to to beat or get beaten. The mentality imbibed is that the pie is limited so fight for your own piece. This leads to see others as opponents our quest to reach the mountain top. Do we really have to step over our opponents for success?. Wouldn't it be better if you took a boost or occasionally hoist others. With Games (RPGs) level ups, secret weapons are hidden with random people in the unexplored corners of the game. The best weapon is found after completing all the minor, optional quests… (That means listening to every old woman you find and donating to every beggar on the street). I begin to wonder is it the same with our life?

My meager knowledge of game theory tells me to work in the best interest for yourself and the competition to achieve the best results. Thinking in abundance is also one of the ideals of the Secret, 7 habits and positive psychology. So, I believe there is some truth in thinking this way. The best way to play is to ensure that you win every conversation and get the most out of every relationship. The conventional sense of looking at this is subduing people to display narcissism and making others work for personal gain. This system is flawed because we may never accept our personal failures and blame systems or find faults in other's. Since, we are either winning or losing we build up frustration and anger when we think we lose and lash it out in some form on other's for self satisfaction.  

I believe true victory comes in ensuring that every random conversation ends with a smile and your loved ones being truly grateful for having you in your life. One article I read advises make every person's day because you met them. In all the cartoons, I watched as a kid Pokemon, Beyblade or Digimon, Dbz they all won as a team. They won because they trained with every random person in fillers.

I have also come to realize, that's it's saying NO.  You can't win all so just play in your limits and enjoy every moment. It's all-right to agree to disagree sometimes. So, I don't socialize if given a choice but enjoy it to the maximum when I am forced to do so.. Though, I believe that I should be open to both, I'll probably take ages to get there. So, I play in my limits and hope to increase my limits someday.

The jist of my random essay is apply game theory to your life and see how it goes (Unless you are a prisoner :P)


The Munday Diaries


Vikram Kamath

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