I had a strange dream a few nights ago. I don’t remember the full context of the dream, but I remember something bad had happened. I remember thinking that the bad thing was so ridiculous that it must be a dream. “Soon enough I will wake up. If this isn’t a dream, I am screwed. This can’t be real.” But, in the dream, I wasn’t waking up, and my terrified mind thought, “that’s it. It’s over. I can never recover from this.”
Imagine, for a moment, that you are standing at the end of a cliff. At the bottom, you can see waves gently smacking against the stones, and behind you there are people afraid to come near the edge. You are considering a cliff dive, but you are not sure if you should. The people behind you are playing life completely safe. Nothing bad will happen to them. Others will teter on the edge, and could potentially fall off if they aren’t careful. Some will fall off, or jump off and but not commit to the jump, and will splat against the rocks.
In my dream, I had the feeling that I was on the cliff and that I had gone over. Not that I jumped; I just fell.
As I reflected on the feeling that I had at the end of the dream, I thought this was a good representation of life. In life, bad things happen. You can play it safe and be fine. If you don’t play it safe, you might get too close to the edge and fall. If this happens, you might be able to climb back up to the 9-5 life, but even that can be tough.
But if you take a running leap, and you can make it far enough away, you can have a simply amazing experience. The question is whether or not you are willing to take the plunge.
Games tend to encourage you to take the plunge by limiting the consequences of failure and pressuring you until mastery is achieved. I wonder: what would it take to make the world like that? If we could, wouldn’t it be really awesome?