“Sometimes we find what we need in the most unlikely places.”
It’s sort of become a tagline for Avatar Secrets.
Maybe that’s why I am so drawn to the notion that the Internet can foster serendipity — that you can go out looking for one thing, and end up discovering something else, something you didn’t set out to find, and yet know immediately and intuitively that it’s exactly what you were searching for all along.
I didn’t log into World of Warcraft expecting to find sage real-world wisdom, or to gain meaningful perspective on my life. And I never would have guessed that the experience of playing a game would have such a profound impact on my life, when it did.
Sure, a video game might seem likely an unlikely place to discover profound life lessons — but what is life, if not an elaborate choose your own adventure, anyway?
We fight the battle, use our wits, strategize.
We try to level up.
It’s the hero’s journey — the ultimate quest. It’s also the daily struggle.
One of the amazing things that has happened in the course of Avatar Secrets coming to life, has been the intersection of the things I think about the most — life and love, storytelling and narrative, games, interactivity and adventures — and how all of these things resemble each other.
When I was interviewing John Hagel for Avatar Secrets, he explained the relationship between gaming, narratives, and life this way: “I think one of the interesting things in the gaming world is [the] narratives. The resolution hasn’t occurred, and it’s up to you, in terms of how this all resolves itself. And so I think there’s an opportunity to create a different kind of narrative in the real world that’s much more of an opportunity based narrative that says, we have an opportunity to harness these virtual environments and these technology infrastructures in ways that will help us to achieve more of our potential that’s been kind of suppressed within us, in this world that we’ve been tightly scripted in.”
Life is not always easy. And, it’s not always fun. And and yet we keep at it, we persevere.
Is it the knowledge — or the hope — that there might be a happy ending, or a pot of gold? Or is it the choices, the challenges, that keep us engaged, keep us striving to progress?
We’re all the protagonist of our own journeys. But that doesn’t mean we’re not plagued by insecurity and self doubt — the curiosity of what might be behind door number two, and the taunting feeling that the grass might be greener elsewhere.
That self questioning is part of what drives the narrative. It is what makes life the ultimate choose your own adventure: there is not one way story must be written, not one path to the end.
Avatar Secret #5 is: Known When to Change Course.
“As characters in the game of life, we make choices. Every day we’re faced with branching paths, choices to make, in our unfolding stories. We’re given thousands of decisions, big and small, and each one changes the course of our narrative…”
Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that life is the ultimate choose your own adventure, and that we are in control of which branching path we take, and where our story will go next.