What is it about Video Games? Certainly, they are popular, almost beyond measure.
When I was a kid, our choices were limited. I can remember the Christmas we got the Atari. It was 1975. The showcase Atari game, Pong, was released that year. There were 150,000 units produced in that first swoop. And we had one of them. We played Pong for hours.
I can remember sitting cross-legged on the floor of our living room. We had an old Black & White TV tucked into an alcove in that room. It was right near the front door, and you could feel the draft of cold air come from underneath the door. We would sit and play until our legs went numb. I was eleven. It was magic.
Two white lines and a bouncing white circle on a black screen. That was it for me and video games in my childhood. Pong.
So yes. It wasn’t until I got out of college that Nintendo created their first console. Of course, we all know the NES. The Nintendo Entertainment System.
I was living on my own, and working two jobs, shortly after my first stint in college. I’d leave for work before 8:00 in the morning, and most days, I was home by midnight. Then I would pull my chair in front of the TV, and play The Legend of Zelda. For hours.
As I reflected on it now, I wondered what the attraction was. I wondered what the “thing” was that hooked me into this?
And then I realized. I was leaving. I was vacationing. I was traveling.
For me, it was the end of a long day of work. On my feet. First, working in a store downtown. Then, going off to bartend in a “Club” in the same building. I was tired — tired of people, and tired of “serving” the always-right-customer.
So every night, I would go away. I’d take a little trip to the Land of Hyrule. Me, and Link. We’d go exploring the lands. We’d climb the surly mountains, swim through crystal-clear lakes, and sneak our way into dungeons, and castles. Link and I were on a mission. A good mission. A noble cause.
We were saving the world. We were saving Hyrule.
Here is the thing that struck me this morning. I don’t play Video Games anymore. I have not, in quite some time. I’m not sure why, but I don’t. But when you take part in an RPG — a Role-Playing Game — (like Zelda) — you are given little containers which “measure” your health. There are heart containers, and magic containers, and potion containers. And when your character runs out of these things, it can be quite detrimental. In fact, if you run out of “Hearts” it is Game Over, little pal.
But these days. Well. It seems now, I use those times of rejuvenation for other things. I meditate. I read. I write. I explore knowledge through books. I attempt to find stillness through reflection. Through Being Still. Through Spirit.
Then, the very good trick, is hanging on to this place of spirit, when we step out into our “every” day. That is the real trick.
Today, for all of us, I wish this for us. Those places where peace and stillness, which passes all understanding, become absorbed into our being.
And then we pass it on.
“It is good people who make good places.”
― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
― Albert Einstein
“When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid; I figure it’s a sure sign that the animal has somehow outfoxed them”
― Tom Dorrance
“You do not need to work to become spiritual. You are spiritual; you need only to remember that fact. Spirit is within you.”
― Julia Cameron