Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crossing the Line

Over the years, in my childhood, I have relied on my imagination to keep myself entertained. To prevent myself from getting bored, to think of many things that other people may not have (or come to think of it, think of things that are entertaining. Frankly, I couldn't give two $#!+$ whether whatever entertaining thing I do is original or not. As long as it allows me to have fun, originality doesn't really matter anymore).

But one day I came across this game called "The Stanley Parable". This game was about an average man who had a boring life, but an amazingly creative mind, in which he made such great daydreams that he would sometimes even forget which world he currently was in; the world he created or the real one? This made me reconsider my life, and how much I used my imagination in my daily life. To make it a bit clearer, here's a transcript of a description of Stanley's life and the troubling fact about being lost in a world that you created, and not knowing which world is the real one or the one you've made up.

Here we go...
The Story of the Death of a Man named Stanley
"This is a very sad story about the death of a man named Stanley. Stanley is quite a boring fellow. He has a job that demands nothing of him, and every button that he pushes is a reminder of the inconsequential nature of his existence. Look at him there, pushing buttons, doing exactly what he's told to do. Now, he's pushing a button. Now, he's eating lunch. Now, he's going home; now, he's coming back to work. One might even feel sorry for him, except that he's chosen this life. But in his mind - ah, in his mind he can go on fantastic adventures. From behind his desk, Stanley dreamed of wild expeditions into the unknown, fantastic discoveries of new lands. It was wonderful. And each day that he returned to work was a reminder that none of it would ever happen to him.

And so he began to fantasize about his own job. First he imagined that one day, while at work, he stepped up from his desk to realize that all of his co-workers, his boss, everyone in the building, had suddenly vanished off the face of the Earth. The thought excited him terribly. So, he went further. He imagined that he came to two open doors, and that he could go through either. At least, choice! It barely even mattered what lay behind each door - the mere thought that his decisions would mean something was almost too wonderful to behold.

As he wandered through this fantasy world, he began to fill it with many possible paths and destinations. Down one path lay an enormous round room with monitors and mind controls, and down another was a yellow line that weaved in many directions, and down another was a game with a baby. And he called it, The Stanley Parable. It was such a wonderful fantasy, and so in his head, he relived it again, and then again, and again, over and over, wishing beyond hope that it would never end, that he would always feel this free. Surely there's an answer down some new path - mustn't there be? Perhaps if he played just one more time.

But there is no answer. How could there possibly be? In reality, all he's doing is pushing the same buttons he always has. Nothing has changed. The longer he spends here the more invested he gets, the more he forgets which life is the real one. And I'm trying to tell him this: that in this world he can never be anything but an observer. That as long as he remains here he's slowly killing himself. But he won't listen to me. He won't stop. Here, watch this. Stanley, the next time the screen asks you to push a button, do not do it.

You see? Can he just not hear me? How can I tell him in a way that he'll understand that every second he remains here, he's electing to kill himself? How can I get him to see what I see? How can I make him look at himself? I suppose I can't - not in the way I want him to. But I don't make the rules - I simply play to my intended purpose, the same as Stanley. We're not so different, I suppose. I'll try once more to convey all this to him; I'm compelled to, I must. Perhaps, well, maybe this time he'll see. Maybe this time. And I tried again, and Stanley pushed a button. And I tried again, and Stanley pushed a button. And I tried again, and Stanley pushed a button..."
End of Transcript
So to summarize, Stanley is a troubled man who may have relied too much on his imagination to get himself out of the sticky situations in life. But the more he fantasizes, the more he fades away from real life, the more invested he gets in the life he created, the more he... Ah you get the damn idea just reread the transcript.

My point is, after reading this, I started to seriously reconsider my life and how much I "escape" from it. How much will it affect my real life? That's one question I have yet to discover.

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