Fun fact: I play videogames quite a lot. I could try to rationalise this as saying that it increases my testosterone, or that I do it to empty my head and stay creative, but those things aren’t true: I just like pretending to be Batman, driving cars down the wrong side of freeways, and shooting zombies. If you’re a devotee of the zombie-shooting genre, you’ll definitely have heard of Dead Rising, which is excellent for lots of reasons.
One of the reasons some people dislike Dead Rising is that you cannot 100% it (non-gamers, this means doing everything that’s possible in the game – not just getting through the main storyline, but collecting bonus items, wearing cool outfits, or in the case of Dead Rising 2, taming a tiger and giving it to your daughter as a present) in one go. It takes place over a virtual (shortened) 72 hours across an entire shopping mall, and there are things happening everywhere. However fast you run, however efficiently you time-manage, however many zombies you kill, somebody is going to die. Things are going to get left undone. You can’t do everything.
I used to hate this too, and in Dead Rising 3 it’s been changed – the three-day structure doesn’t exist any more. But now I’ve changed my mind, and here’s why.
You can’t 100% life.
Things are going to get left undone. Whatever you are doing right now: sitting around the house, nursing a hangover, surfing the internet, reading this post – there are other things that you could be doing. Whatever you decide to do from now on – have a family, travel the world like a nomad, become the greatest badass that has ever existed – it means shutting the door on other things. Would they be a better use of your time? I don’t know. The only mistake you can make is to pretend that they don’t exist.
As you may know, there’s a thing called a Memento Mori, or a reminder that you’re going to die, which is supposed to make you live every moment harder, embrace opportunities and so on. But it’s arguably more important to remember that, even if you live each day to the absolute fullest, you aren’t going to get to do everything you want. Things will get missed out. People will die without you even saying hi to them. Dead Rising is a reminder of that, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun than sticking a skull on your desk.
HOMEWORK: Pick a thing you would like to do. When you’re bored this week, stop and think if there’s something else that you could be doing to get you closer to that goal. You can’t 100% life, but you can make the percentage points you do get mean something.