Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Living in metaphors

I've been quite addicted to playing a particular game on my phone these past few months. One of its features is that a bunch of boards are freshly available each day for players to solve. I've had a 65 day streak (as yet unbroken) of completing those. I've never had a 65 day streak of anything. Except maybe pining away for my boyfriend when I was young and stupid. But that's not some achievement, is it? What's so special about the game then? Not like I'm doing anything worthwhile here too.

The thing with this game is that it combines two of my favorite things, and maybe something I can claim to be skilled at, if only at an amateur level: pattern matching and path finding. And the reason why I'm playing so often is that it makes up for the things I can't solve IRL. When things are too chaotic, when I have difficult decisions to make based on too many choices with way too many risks, it's easy to be distracted by something that's readily available and that gives me an instant sense of achievement. Solving a bunch of boards--even difficult ones--makes me feel like I'm in control and can solve problems by myself and gives me a mini-confidence boost, however fleeting.

Also, I have quite a few epiphanies while I'm solving those boards. The way I sometimes solve a difficult board, or find a path after multiple failed attempts, or take too long to discover patterns that were right in front of me all the while, all seem like metaphors for how I am doing at 'life'. If only I showed diligence in recording them as and when they occurred to me! But then, that seems like such a chore while I'm thoroughly engaged and enjoying myself at the game. I guess I will make an effort from now on. It's only a matter of switching to a different app and typing in the words that have already occurred to me.

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