Over the last few years I have spent a great deal of time playing online games. Initially, the call of duty games and then star wars battlefront.
For me, the difference between playing as a member of society and as a human being is huge. Playing as a human being, I appreciate that others may not have the experience I have. They may be distracted by pets, children, wives, the postman or worried about their jobs or money. In other words, distracted and not playing their best game. All understandable and I can choose to support them in the game or play some other tac tics so that our team puts up a good fight and perhaps even wins.
I think most of us will agree that what I described is fair and reasonable and that is how most of us would enjoy the shared experience of online gaming.
However, that isn't how most of us play. Most of us are no longer the human beings we were born as but are members of society. Whilst playing online we are inundated with idiots, noobs and show offs. We might simply shout at our televisions, perhaps slam down our controller in disgust, we might even shoot or otherwise inconvenience our team mates or just abandon the game. I have both sent and received messages which were aggressive, nasty and negative.
The gaming experience, when playing as a human being is a pleasant one. I have lots of choices about how best to support our team. How I can play to increase our chances of winning. To play the best game I can with the available resources. If we win we win. If we lose, could I have played differently or were we completely outclassed? In which case, what can I learn from our opponents? Now, I am not infuriated but actually learning. I am no longer repeating the same behaviour again and again. I am learning to be a better team player. Learning to be a better human being.
The gaming experience, when played as a member of society is, usually, mostly annoying with a few pleasing outcomes that can keep us playing way past bedtime. :-)
Perhaps you are not an online gamer. I work in a small professional office. When working, as a human being, I have a really enjoyable tike. Working as a member of society is completely different. I encounter awkward customers, inconsiderate colleagues and clueless bosses.
The point I am clumsily attempting to make is vital. The people, customers and online gamers are not the ones who change. They don't create the environment I either enjoy or find annoying. The thing that creates the environment is me.
The members of a society, create the society. Just one person, behaving as a human being, creates a bubble of civilisation. This bubble is quite large. It can easily envelop a home or office. These pockets of civilisation actually grow when they encounter another bubble. The beauty of these bubbles, is that they grow increasingly stronger over time and become effortless to maintain.
So, society is rather easy to replace with a civilisation. You simply choose to become a human being and then practice being one. Currently, I am managing bursts of around an hour quite easily. At the time of writing, rather than publication, I managed to be a human being all Friday. This included a thirty minute commute to work in a fourteen year old car. Eight hours at work. Another thirty minute commute home in rush hour traffic and an evening in with my partner. It was a great day. I have spent most of the weekend thinking about that day and creating this sister blog to my critical thought blog. Monday might not be as great, after all human beings are not perfect. Human beings are flawed. A human being appreciates that everybodyelse is flawed too. Including Obama, Clinton, Trump, our bosses, colleagues, customers, clients, spouses, children and especially ourselves.
I hope you found this uplifting. At some stage, I could become inspirational. Better yet, you could!
Feel free to use any ideas I present here as foundation upon which to build your own.