It amazes me sometimes just how adaptable we are as a species at wilful ignorance. How attuned we are to compartmentalisation of issues that should impair our day to day lives. We seem to inherit this natural adaptive intuition, that allows us to consign the tribulations of the world to the deepest recesses of our minds, purely out of a desperate need to live. The news is saturated with the grim capitulation of our humanity. Wars and recessions. Greed and poverty. The anarchic dichotomy of our society that is seemingly always on the brink of collapse. And it’s fascinating being with my daughter in a public park, watching as she constructs these malformed sand castles and other elaborate structures, as if this was the most important thing in the world. How are we capable of tuning out the horrific tortures of this world? This question really is as rhetorical as they come, because the simple answer really is “because we have too”.
For the most part, I try to stay as oblivious to traumas that afflict the world as much as I can. I have a vague semblance of certain collateral problems that seem to thrust themselves into our daily lives, like that person that wants to talk about the latest Marvel excretion. Things like politically charged dissent. The perversions of some emboldened celebrity that’s been abusing their position. But for my own diminishing sanity, I have to be wilfully ignorant. Imagine waking up every day, pouring yourself a tea, or a coffee if you prefer. Waiting for your toast to, well toast, settling down to peruse social media for some irreverent humour, only to be inundated with the latest developments in the Ukraine, the murder of a toddler, the acquittal of purported sexual deviant and the sudden tax hike on Jaffa Cakes! How do you carry on your day with the accumulated knowledge of such deplorable misery, if you can’t separate it from your own life? Being so emotionally invested in every skirmish in the middle east would be exhausting as well as demoralising. And I think that’s why I play games.
Escapism is so beautifully encapsulated by these virtually generated worlds. Distractions that immerse you in these robust scenarios that provide a surrogate element of control, absent from our own complicated lives. There are objectives. Environments and scenarios radically different from our own that require our services. Any antagonistic threat’s are designed to be reconciled by our actions. As such we are provided with a guiding purpose from which to resolve these predicaments in fun, deferring ways. With the solutions to these conveyed tribulations, necessitating our involvement. Which does create the illusion that we can make a difference, even if it’s just in a fictionalised, artificially designed environment. But it is also a rejuvenating sabbatical from the harsh society we so often endure. And to me, the best kind of adverse problems are ones I can placate. Not ones out of my control.