Life’s Gaming Lessons

People say that movies teaches us things, and books are supposed to be our best friends ever. But can we say the same about anything else? If there is a third in that list, I would say that would be the computer games, because it has made me realize more than any other medium. There are many things that a gamer achieves from one video game, and it is not just limited to finding one or two more friends to play the game with. I shall share a few realizations. The images are screenshots from the games which I captured.

Age of Empires: History can be a lot of fun :: History has never been this much fun before Age of Empires, especially the Conquerers Edition, as it instantly transports us to a world full of historical mission that we have to complete, including that of Montezuma, Joan of Arc, William Wallace, El Cid and many others. It is a clear history book with entertainment written all over it. The game was also the main reason for my love for history which never really materialized completely due to nobody willing to grant me the permission to take the subject for study further.

There is my army, or a part of it :D

There is my army, or a part of it 😀

Mass Effect: There is the need to explore and discover :: This game is a huge world, a universe by itself, as we travel through the galaxy, exploring planets and fighting enemies along with making friends. It is a wonderful world, as we get to communicate with people belonging to a lot of species and fight alien creatures, but at the same time, wander through strange planets and also enjoy the beauty of the animated world which is incredibly good for the graphics standards of that time. It only gets better with navigation. Also consider Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the same reason. We are never complete unless we explore.

Why would someone not explore such a beautiful universe?

Why would someone not explore such a beautiful universe?

Prototype: The possibilities in life are endless :: Prototype is a game full of immense possibilities, as we take control of a character with incredible powers and no memory as he roams free through the streets with no need to control his actions. It is like he can do almost anything he wants, and is nearly indestructible as long he ends up being too stupid. This free-roaming world without artificial barriers means that we can go around and choose some objective if we want to, or just be normal or highly abnormal. This deviation from the usual restricted gameplay is something that the life needs too.

What is an open world without ourselves not being able to be the Hulk?

What is an open world without ourselves not being able to be the Hulk?

Age of Mythology: The myths and legends are part of life :: The game takes it from the Greeks, Egyptians and the Norse as there are so many gods and godesses to worship and gain favour. There is also the chance of feeling the wrath of the enemy gods. So, mythology is also fun and it is immensely interesting with this game. It brings us closer to the great ancient myths which are not proving to be of much concern for the modern world. Yes, they are some beautiful stuff and really needs our attention.

Show some attention to the myths and legends, as there is beauty in it

Show some attention to the myths and legends, as there is beauty in it

Tomb Raider :: You have to solve the riddles of life yourself :: Almost the same as the Prince of Persia franchise had taught us, this game franchise also says the same. The lady protagonist Lara Croft is one person who doesn’t care about the dangers that she has to face, and goes on to solve puzzles and get her hands on some artifacts. It is the same with our lives, as the game tells us to solve our own problems of life as it is our own future at stake – just take the risk and gain what is there to achieve.

The life of Lara Croft does arouse some jealousy, doesn't it?

The life of Lara Croft does arouse some jealousy, doesn’t it?

I have been a big gamer throughout my life, and used to play them till the last night before my board exams started, or sometimes even between them. It included broadband as well as LAN gaming too, and such games were Unreal Tournament, Age of Empires II: Conquerers, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, Quake III Arena and Age of Mythology. Only the first three remain with me now, and even as I am not that much of a gamer as I used to be, I shall still continue the gaming process very rarely.



The Wheel of Time

[The following is an excerpt from an unreal conversation at the non-existent Raven Vampire Training Centre and Museum]

Vampire Bat :: Do not touch the Wheel of Time, vampire apprentice.

Vampire Crocodile :: But I thought it was a Playstation Steering Wheel.

Vampire Bat :: Dude, this is a valuable vampire artifact. Uncle Dracula used it to travel through time to bite people.

Vampire Crocodile :: You mean it is a time machine? How does it work? So Uncle Dracula is still biting people?

Vampire Bat :: Uncle Dracula causes a butterfly effect on the space–time continuum that results in the creation of multiple alternate timelines which can only be altered by changing the source code as it is often the quintessence of the human soul, and the true effect of the same is often a bite which is rather lost with its duplication, but the result often shows in the long run.

Vampire Crocodile :: What does that mean?

Vampire Bat :: It means that I am watching too many science fiction movies. Can you just go and drink some blood instead of eating my brain? Zombies eat brains, not us. You should just attend more study classes.

[Gets a cup of Blood Shake].

You can't escape the sands of time (Pic from PoP Movie official page)

You can’t escape the sands of time (Pic from PoP Movie official page)

There is that story of friendship that comes out of it, for there are two; science fiction and time travel – they have been friends forever. Even as I was first introduced into the same by H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, it was carried on by a few movies, and also a few video games which used such a concept. Well, even that save game option that we used in most of the computer games was also the same, because life rarely gives us a second chance otherwise. It had such significance in TimeShift which had stopping, slowing and even reversing time, one of them about which we were familiar with from the Prince of Persia franchise, and the adapted movie too; you can’t really miss out the Sands of Time, can you?

On the big screen, there is that 2002 version of H.G. Wells’ novel, the loose adaptation which was The Time Machine – it teaches about acceptance, that there are things that cannot be changed, even with such a grand possession such as a time machine, even as Back to the Future and its sequels had come up with the idea that it was easier to change the same as far as there is nothing done that is really stupid; and there is always the chance to do things some other way. It was also a really entertaining movie, and it also came up with its own versions. All of them surely needed those machines.

But a few others needed no machine. X-Men: Days of the Future Past does change the world a lot though, as things just get awesome for mutants and the planet. The Terminator did do that a number of times, three to be exact, defining the lives of humans as well as machines. Then there is Looper and Timeline, both following different paths. The Butterfly Effect had our protagonist going back in time to possess his former self for a very short period of time. Whenever he attempted to go back in time and set things right, they all misfired, and lead to those consequences which were even worse than how he wanted them to be.

It is the 2009 movie The Time Traveler‘s Wife that takes the situation to another level as the protagonist struggles with his powers which needs no machine or mutation. There is always the coming back in time to meet anoter onself. Our time travel adventures has now paused at About Time, which has its protagonist going back in time to set things right, but later realizing that he could live without it, and actually he doesn’t really change much with the going back to the past. Both the movies got Rachel McAdams as the beautiful leading lady, as Clare and Mary.

Live in the moment, so says About Time (From About Time official page)

Live in the moment, so says About Time (From About Time official page)

All these movies tell one single story, abut the human desire to go back in time as set things right. All of us wishes to go back in time and change a few things which we should have done in a different manner, and we ends up believing that a different approach or act would have changed our lives for the good. There are too many things we did and said for which we repent, and from this part and our own deeds, there is no escape as it will continue to haunt us through time.

But then there is the question, the uncertainty if the same thing could have given us a better present, and the doubt should be there if our lives can be any better than it is now. The past haunts us, and may be it is time that we realize that it has no hope for us, and as the present lives with us and the future calls, may be the realization that there is no time machine or superpowers will help us more to face it rather than the realization that there are things that can’t be changed.