The game of life

Is it me or has the game of life changed drastically and seemingly overnight?

I mean at 43 years old and a “game master” one would think I had this game down, but that turned out to be nothing but the case.

Like most things these days I feel like an outdated dinosaur.

And I am not even talking about the day to day life.

No, I’m taking about the actual game “Life.” Remember the board game? There I’m a dinosaur too.

Jacob has an odd fascination with this game, to the point that he called all local toy and stationary stores to see if they had this gem in stock.  Jacob is adamant about winning this game called Life. And I was game. Another activity to get him off a screen. Let’s do it!

And I like games. I felt going into it I would have an advantage. I have played this game before. I would cream my entire family, but I was the most lost in this game. Turns out experience and wisdom are not valued in Life. I seemed to be playing on an older model or was I the older model? It became clear that my knowledge and experience was not an advantage, but maybe even a disadvantage.

Turns out a lot has changed from the 80’s game board of Life. The rules aren’t the same. The board is not even the same. I guess it too has had to keep up with the times. But I was not expecting this twist to family game night after a long day of jumps and leaps at work.

My reaction? I turned into a 5-year-old.

“Hey! That’s not fair” I complained. “That’s not how you play!” I quipped at Jacob. I was annoyed and clearly frustrated. “Those are not the rules. I’ve played this game before. I know how it is supposed to go.”

But it was I who had the game wrong.

I had missed the “update.” Jacob held the official rules and he was indeed correct. Jacob held no such past reference to 80’s life so felt none of my frustrations. For him this is how life always has been. He seamlessly moved around the board, while I fell behind reminiscing on how it was. You know…back in “before.” I wanted “again.”

I couldn’t even see the beauty as much of the changes were indeed positive.

For example, when choosing my peg/character for my car, I was not given the two previous choices of light blue or light pink pegs.

Instead, I have a rainbow of pegs to choose.

I chose to be green.

And in this game you can gain friends. In the past, if you choose to not get married/ have kids, you ran solo all the way to retirement and could never win as those pegs were worth cash. Now friends have entered the scene and they have been valued the same as a spouse and children, each 50K a pop. Yes. That number is not made up.

Side note: Wouldn’t you love to be in the room of game engineers that decided the value of each of these choices? “So the beach house mansion is 400K, what should we value human life? Thoughts from the leadership team?

I digress…

But my lesson here was not knowing the game when everyone else did was frustrating. I felt behind. Anxious. Annoyed. And my reaction turns out to be human nature. We have seen this over and over again. We don’t like change.

When confronted with a change did I…

Listen to the new rules? Nope

Play along nicely until I got the new rules? Not exactly.

Stomp my feet like a 5 year old wishing for things to just be simple/ the way I remember them? YES. And I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling.

People are feeling left behind.

And it’s scary as we know what happens. We become 5 year olds. Or we become worse unhinged adults.

It is human nature to want to retreat to the norm. We LONG for consistency. We long for AGAIN. We insist on certainty and even in the face of real evidence don’t accept that it’s not a real option.

And it’s getting harder to catch up. Change is not going to stop. There is no such thing as “again.”

I wonder if I will ever play life “again?” Or will AI be now integrated into the game next time. Will AIs provide players with new challenges and opportunities. Will there even be a board? Will the game of life no longer be restricted to one plane of existence, one world? Will the game of Life become a more immersive and interactive experience, with virtual reality and augmented reality features allowing players to explore different scenarios and outcomes?

So how did the game go? I lost, but only due to poor opening strategy. I did not adopt. I longed for “again.”

I fear that many are not adopting. Many are fighting change, time, and just the natural progression of progress.

I wish I could say education is going to solve this, but they are so behind and stifled by policy meant for the industrial era…they are not going to help bring people along.

So I’m thinking of living in a simulation. What is my avatar you ask?

A dinosaur of course!

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