Games as Metaphor

So I have talked a lot about what is now becoming a philosophy of human development. The idea that the human mind is becoming more metaphorical as it develops. Maybe it’s like some form of high level processing because it seems present in way more areas than just creative writing. It seems like it has developed as a cognitive process that in some areas overlaps reality to aid learning. For example, as my last post said, you can learn about compassion through fictional characters. In fact, it seems like as more and more fiction and metaphorical uses of historical ideas are adopted into society, well it only makes sense that at least our language would become more colored with these abstractions.

Anyways, games. If we look at how games have evolved, we can see how important metaphor is becoming. MMOs that adopt fictional/historical/ect ideas to create another world, give people the opportunity to play roles they wouldn’t otherwise have played, and also I think these are roles that have never been played as deeply as they are being played at this current time. See MMOs now, like World of Warcraft and Eve Online, allow us to be politicians, warriors, ect, and along with others, we get to play out these roles in real time in one long story that may last years.  This was never possible to this extent, ever in history I believe.
The significance of this to me is that we have become more open and more able to adopt/use metaphor as a tool for our own growth. We become soldiers and politicians, and learn how to function as such and as we do this and come upon challenges, the reward centers of our brains are activated. We are rewarded for our achievements and personal developments that we would have been far less motivated to even work towards without the use of metaphor!!! What this says to me is that humans are using metaphor to drive evolution. Metaphor has become like a spring board for growth. Meaning humans in a way no longer gain meaning from the natural world, but now some gain it from a hybrid of natural world and symbolic world. The symbolic/fictional/metaphorical world actually becomes real in the way that in these circumstances, development is dependent on it.

And why are games often so much easier to get into than real life challenges? Well games are designed to help a person develop by giving them feedback, socialization, roles,challenges that match skill level, ect that drive their motivation and improvement. It seems we are learning how to drive our own evolution and that we find it very enjoyable.


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