Creating a Better World (Part I)

Post- Last Jedi, I’m not too excited about the release of any film. Ready Player One is the only one that looks halfway interesting.

I know that it’s based on a 2011 novel, which I’ll probably never read, so I could be wrong about this, but the film takes place in a dystopian future where a video game provides the only means of escape from a hellish reality.

I’m not a gamer. Never understood it. Seen it destroy many romantic relationships. Seen it become a substitute for real life. I suppose many things are fine in moderation, but turning video gaming into a “lifestyle”? Come back to us buddy.

But I’ve since changed my tune. I was wrong (for all the right reasons, I might add) about gamers. Because I didn’t understand it, that made me poorly qualified to form an opinion about it one way or another. But most of our hobbies are a distraction from a hellish or insufficient reality. My blogging, as an example, is my own obsession (and distraction). I’m also obsessed with sports and movies. I just singled out gamers (I’ve also called out car enthusiast, theater goers, and dog owners  too) because I didn’t “get it”.

I should mention though that there is a threshold that one can cross that leads to unhealthy obsession. This is called the “better-than-sex” threshold. Once when one starts turning down sex to tend to their obsession, then there’s a problem. Nothing is better than getting laid. Nothing. Have I been guilty of this? Totally. Watching that Matthew Stafford interception was not worth it. But at the rate I’ve seen gamers destroy their relationships, I’m just handing out friendly advice. Try sex every once in awhile, maybe go outside once or twice a day. That’s all I’m saying.

“Video games aren’t an obsession, it’s a PASSION!”. I’ve heard this one before. Perhaps it’s a solid defense, don’t know. But I’d counter by saying ART is a passion: painting, sculpting, building, writing (which is how I defend my obsession)…anything that requires one to create with their imagination and bare hands. HELPING PEOPLE is a passion.  Do video games do that? Again, don’t know, but “leveling up” doesn’t sound like a very compelling passion.

“Well, there’s lot’s of studies that suggest gamers excel at problem solving, hand-eye coordination, etc. ect.” Now we’re going down a rabbit hole that I didn’t want to go down , so let me get back on track…

It doesn’t matter what I think.

It’s at this time of year where I see article after article providing bullshit advice on how to be “more productive”, step-by-step instructions on how to “follow your dreams”, how to live like successful millionaires and a bunch of other nonsensical crap that’s designed to make us feel like a piece of shit….Like we’re not doing enough…..like we’re a bunch of losers living in mom’s basement.

“If it doesn’t suck, it’s not worth doing”, one article stated. We should just work a little bit harder if we are to achieve the American Dream of owning a home, car, small business, and six-figure income.

The article might as well said “If you’re 2018 doesn’t suck, it wasn’t worth living!”

I mentioned my stint in rehab, where the 20 year old kids all wanted to be billionaires. I mean, who wouldn’t? But for them, it was a goal. All it took was thinking and living a certain way and coming up with the right idea. Simple as that.

But there are 2,043 billionaires on this planet. The world’s total population is estimated to be 7.6 billion.

I’m too lazy to do math, but I’d venture to say that the odds of becoming a billionaire are laughably slim. “There isn’t a cap on how many billionaires there can be, anyone can do it dumbass!”, you might say. True, but do you choose to be a billionaire? Or does fate choose you?

So are billionaires born? Well, who would you say has a better shot at earning billions over a lifetime: an Ivy League dropout or some kid born in the slums?

And another question: who do you think would have a better shot at becoming an Ivy League dropout: a rich white kid or some kid born in the slums? My point is that if you’ve been to rehab or are a 30-something slacker like me, the “billionaire” window has probably shut.

“You don’t know until you try!”, they say. And that’s also true. But why? Why continue to torture ourselves over something we very likely will never achieve…especially when we don’t need to?

Why has becoming rich become the standard for which we should judge ourselves? And more importantly, are we willing to accept the cost that this “billionaire challenge” has had on the mental health of this generation?

According to the article titled “The ‘irrational desire’ driving millennials and Gen Z into depression” (which you can read here) people my age are OBSESSED with perfection.

If we aren’t careful, then virtual reality WILL become the only escape from a dystopian shithole.

FYI, I ran out of energy (and time) writing this which is why I broke it down into two parts. 

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