Sunday, August 11, 2019

Aging: The Video Game

I'm only 56, but I think I see how old age works.

You know how, in video games, you keep leveling up to acquire greater strength, skills, and weapons, but the opposing monsters keep getting commensurately tougher to maintain an overall balance?

Aging is just like that, but the monsters get tougher just a bit faster than you get better.

Eventually, you reach a tipping point where the monsters start winning, and your strategy turns to preserving as much as possible for as long as possible amid increasingly indomitable opposition.

I'm not at the tipping point yet. I'm still gleefully leveling up and slaying monsters. But I sense the imbalance - monsters getting tougher faster than I'm getting better. Each new victory takes just a bit more doing, and my sack of resourcefully clever tricks is not infinitely deep.

I previously answered (on Quora) how old age feels.


Anonymous coward said...
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Jim Leff said...

Woops, here FYI was the comment I just accidentally deleted:

Posted by Anonymous coward

Personally, I detest video games where the monsters level up with you. I've played final fantasy tactics and suddenly half-way through the game I reach the tipping point and I have a choice. A. Start over and adapt completely different strategies, B. Keep current character and try completely different strategies. C. Don't adapt and lose every battle. D. Rage quit the game. I choose option D. I felt tricked.

As for an analogy between aging and video games I'm not sure. I find in general the same task easier usually. As in that I had no clue what I was doing the first time around. For example, checking oil for the car for the first time, easy ahhhh whoops that's the radiator hot hot hot! Second time, checking oil on the car is extremely difficult. 50 time, checking oil is very easy. 200th time, over-learned and it becomes more difficult because you are so complacent.

Real life is more like a linear leveling system like final fantasy one as opposed to final fantasy tactics. Well except maybe the ultra-rich are leveling at a faster rate than the poor.

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