Archive for July, 2012

Reality is like a giant Minecraft game

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Have you ever seen Minecraft? You get a blank virtual world and create anything you want. It is like playing god. You can play by yourself or you can join a server and play with others. There are communities, cities, structures springing up and so on. It is highly addictive. I can’t seem to get my 10yo son to get off the computer. Once he found out about the multiplayer server he wanted it immediately. Then his friends joined in. But then he wanted more. That’s where mods come in. With mods you get other cool features and powers.  And that’s why it is so addictive.

So what’s Minecraft got to do with our reality? Imagine that you are a player in an extremely addictive and realistic (illusory) game. Kids playing Minecraft get emotionally affected when other players do something to them or destroy what they have created, as much as when someone steals or destroys something of theirs in the real world. After some time of playing, you get strongly associated with the character in the game. So strong is the bond that you actually delude yourself that you are the character. But nothing could be further from the truth. Just like when you play any computer games for a long time, you need to take breaks. In real life, you go to sleep. That’s when the real you does real work in the other (real) dimension. When you get killed in the virtual world, you start the game again. It is kind of from scratch,but you retain some “experience points”. Some games call it “karma points”…

Does all this sound familair? In Minecraft, you join a multiplayer server and you have to play by the rules. There are rules of the game itself, and then there are rules of the server administrators. Furthermore, players can join into factions. There are faction rulers. The factions can compete or fight with other factions. Should I go on, or do you get the picture?

Now, imagine if the server administrators decide to join the game but they hold a lot of administrative priviledges and give themselves mods with “super” powers while keeping the rest of the players in the dark? It happens in the real world, too. The real masters of this world have access to mods and they make the rules. Don’t believe me? Just look at the money markets and how they enslave the population of the world. What about medicine and health? The modern medicine has killed of any other competition while not providing any real tangible benefits. There is the never ending hope, and funding, to find the cure for cancer, diabetes, MS, Alzheimers…

And what about the earth itself? You can own the land but not it’s mineral rights. The minerals are valuable and only large corporations own the right to extract the wealth from earth. The general population in the meantime is caught in the never ending rat-race because they want part of the action. You want the beatiful jewellery, or a big house, or that new sports car…  So you borrow something imaginary – money – and have to return more of it. Just imagine how stupid this rule is. First a limited amount of money is agreed on and created. This amount is agreed to be equivalent to something valuable but limited – gold, for example.

Then the controllers – bankers, financiers – distribute some amounts to other players who have to repay it back with an accrued interest. In other words, they have to repay more than there is available! Do you get the implication of it? There is not enough around so you can never repay everything. To get around this problem, the controllers can give you another loan. And another, because you want more – another car, investment house, holiday etc. How do they do it? Has the amount of gold suddenly grown? No, they just issue more money telling you that you just have to produce more to cover it. After a while you just lose track of how much money is issued, borrowed, repayed and so on. You just get hung up on the things you own and things you want. You associate yourself with the character and with the things you own – in the game. You forget what you really are and what you should be doing. Like a dog you are chaisng your own tail.

This is a game you can never win. You get more and more addicted and drawn into it by associating yourself – strengthening the bond – with the character you play. Can you stop playing the game? Yes, when you die. You take a long break but then the pull of the addiction is so strong that you decide to come back as another character. So sometimes you are a player, sometimes a creeper and sometimes the mob (using Minecraft terminology here). And because you gain some karma points, you have different skills and strengths every time you play. It is extremely addictive but there is no end to it. It provides some extreme entertainment to the controllers, but as much as they think they are in control, they also get addicted. They get addicted to the never ending abuse of power. They want to keep the game rolling on as it is, forever.

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