“It is fine. I am a solo player.” But is that really fine in itself? Isn’t that the problem? Is it OK to be happy alone and tell the world: Come as you are and become like me?
I have given a good deal of thought to the Llama’s outburst. A Norwegian proverb says that one should listen to children and drunk people, they tell it as they see it. And I think he may be more right than he knows, or perhaps rather, he may be right in other ways than he knows.
There is no denying that playing City of Heroes relates to actual heroism much like masturbation relates to lovemaking. Nobody else benefits from it in any way. (Of course, the benefits of lovemaking are also somewhat exaggerated in contemporary culture. Still, the comparison is apt.) The same may be said for the rest of my benevolent gaming: Helping small neighborhoods of Sims living happy and fulfilling lives is just smoke on the wind, although I am kind of happy that I’m not among the simmers who remove the door and set the house on fire, or remove the ladder while their sims are swimming. I have this vague idea, to treat my Sims the way I want to be treated by my own higher-dimensional overseer. But it doesn’t really bring a lot of happiness to the world, which needs it.
Generally it is through my work and through my journal that I try to make the world a better place, each in its own way. Like most people, I have a job that basically consists of helping people. After I reflected on this a couple years ago, I now consciously go to work with the intention to help people and give back to society in this way. But in practice I am not very good at it. And probably not at journaling either: After all these many years, I don’t see a lot of people having become happy and healthy and wise by learning from my writing. A phrase comes to mind by my great hero Jesus Christ: “If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they are not going to listen even if someone returns from the dead.” Why do I think I can make a difference?
Still, I have at least tried, some of the time. I don’t really know what was the secret ingredient, so I have tried to cover most of the bases. But it became too much, I guess. Nobody these days has time to read through the story of a life. It is the age of soundbites, of slogans and aphorisms. Jesus was actually good at those too. But if we look at Christianity today, it is disheartening how little has come of it. And if we look at me today, it is also disheartening how little has come of it.
And yet, I am not packing until I see the ferryman coming, or that is my resolution.