Friday, January 14, 2005

minesweeper

This may seem weird, an article regarding a game. What is more weird is the fact that I enjoy this game, despite the fact that this game is one of the simplest and probably one of the most boring games in the computer, as a former friend have informed me.
But as I was playing this game a while ago, it occurred to me that this simple and boring game has somehow explained how to live my life, and generally has explained to me what life is.
In a way, life is a game, that being the obvious, let me point out the reasons why I have given some time and thought to this computer game. I may not be making a clear point right now, but hear me out.
Despite the numerous games that have been invented, I have not really explored much of the said computer games mainly because I was too lazy to spend time learning the mechanics as to how to play such games. I don’t want to waste my time learning how to play a game when there are simple games that I can already play. I preferred playing the computer games that comes with the Microsoft package, the solitaire, free cell, spider, pinball and most of all, the minesweeper. There were times when I got so addicted to playing the minesweeper that I would spend the entire night playing it. How weird is that? Very weird.
Here’s my point. The goal of the game is basically not to click on any bombs. That’s it, so simple. The catch is that you have to guess which of the boxes contains bombs and which does not. You have to be able to open or tick all the boxes that do not contain any bombs. Pretty simple and seems kinda stupid especially if I found out that there was some kind of a cheat code to simply finish the game. But knowing the cheats ends the excitement. Half the fun of playing is the thrill of having to find out whether the box you have clicked contains a bomb or not. And that my dear friend, is the connection to real life.
In life, you don’t reach a certain point in life through the means of cheat codes. You have to undergo every process. From birth, you have to pass through several stages, from being an infant to being a toddler, to your first day in school until your last day as a student, your first day as an unemployed person to the day you finally reach your dream job. You also cannot skip the ups and downs of life, these includes perfect scores in quizzes, meeting your crush, knowing that your crush likes someone else, flunking a subject, failing in every aspect imaginable, rejection, pain, then experiencing perfect bliss, falling in love, falling out of love, letting go, and moving on. These are the stages that you must experience, there are no short cuts, no cheat codes.
In playing the minesweeper, there are times when the first time you tick a box, a bomb is present, end of the game. Then there are times when you are almost through, then a bomb appears, again, game over. You have to start another game. And if you are lucky, through the whole game, you have guessed all the right boxes, at this instant, you win. But there’s a catch, did you get the best time or were you just an average player?
The same goes with how we live our lives. There are times when the mistakes we make were pretty obvious, and there were times when we thought we were right, but guess again, you’re wrong! But still, there were instances that we knew, in our gut, that we were making the right choice, but is it the best choice?
A few months ago, my uncle taught me how to stop the timer in the minesweeper. Knowing this, I started playing the game with the timer not working. But in the end, the excitement was gone. There was no point in playing the game. All the best times were in the range of 2-3 seconds. What’s the point of playing when you know you’re going to be the best? That was the time I stopped controlling the timer.
It’s funny how we try to search for answers in different places, in difficult terms when the answers are all there, in plain view, for all of us to see. We just don’t want to accept that the answers in front of us are simple, no manuals needed. We tend to believe that the solutions to our complicated problems should also be as complicated. We don’t want to see that the simple things that we encounter in our everyday living will always provide us with answers, we just need to open up our minds and see the connection.
From the game, I have learned that mistakes are inevitable, but that does not necessarily mean that life ends after one mistake, after one downfall. Life goes on, and how we live with it and how we deal with these downfalls will describe how we played the game. It is not the end of the game that is most satisfying, it is how you have played the game.
The past month have been hell for me, almost every imaginable negative feeling have run through me. And this game, the minesweeper, has somehow helped me realize that it is not the end. All I need is to start all over again, learn from my previous mistakes, wish that I wouldn’t commit the same mistakes again, and move on. It has shown me that to fully enjoy life, I have to experience it all, the ups and downs, the joys and the pain, and if I can’t take it anymore, all I have to do is press F2 (start a new game).

1 comment:

carpe_diem said...

hmmmm....