The Case for Entropia Universe

“Life is a game, and we have to embrace the grind.”

–Julien McBain

Don’t think life is a game?  Define a game. A game is two or more people, engaging in an activity whether cooperative or competitive, using a defined set of rules for interaction with each other.  Sounds a lot like a social contract, doesn’t it? What it comes down to is that we are constantly playing some sort of game; whether it’s the game on a console or PC, or a board game, or the game of negotiating with your children on getting them to bed.  Before the other parents in my readership ratio me for talking about negotiating bedtime, trust me, it’s a negotiation. You negotiate rewards and punishments, even if the negotiation consists of “punishment or no punishment.”

So we play games all the time, and we frame our lives within the architecture of the game of life.  Then along comes MindArk and creates a game that might just be the perfect economic simulation. Additionally, the methods in which players make money, or lose it, are direct parallels to how we do so in real life.  Congratulations, we’re paying Mind Ark for a life simulator that just happens to be more fun than the one we interact with in the real world because it involves monsters.  That’s what it comes down to–humans are hunters and gatherers at heart; we started our existence making a subsistence off of hunting animals for food, gathering resources and food, then trading our surpluses to other people for their surpluses.  Mindark literally gamified the most primal instincts we have.  In fact, the only thing they didn’t gamify for us was the reproductive instinct, and I have no doubt that there are couples that met in Entropia Universe.

This is why we love the game Entropia Universe–it calls to the most primal and simple instincts we as humans have.  It can also teach us to redirect those instincts into our lives at large; after all, EU is arguably the grindiest game ever created (and if it’s not, it’s definitely in the top 5).  How does that differ from how we work our jobs, maintain our families, and raise our children? I’m not saying to resent your family the way we resent the Loot Pool and Lootius some days, what I’m saying is you have to embrace all aspects of it and take what you learn from one platform, say, EU, and apply it to your other platforms, including good old analog life.  Don’t think you can do it?

How much of hunting around other players, especially not in a team, is courtesy?  How do we deal with players that might accidentally (or even deliberately) steal mobs?  What time and energy do you put into dropping probes for ores and en-matters? How much digital real estate have you acquired, if any?  Do you run an in-game business, like a taxi service, or a crafting factory? Maybe you operate a society.

See, all of these have clear cut parallels in the real world, and you can take the skills acquired from the game and apply them to your real life, whether it’s patiently dealing with people, or iterating an automated system, or having to search for the solution to a problem.  Perhaps it’s reading markets and giving advice on whether or not to mark up or down a product. All of these have applications in both platforms, and each of them will have importance to you at some point in your life. Even the act of managing your PED card is no different than managing your bank account, and I’d wager you’re far better at managing the PED card.

So look inside yourself and think about how you can grind a skill in Entropia, then take that skill and apply it to your real life.  Then develop that skill further in the analog world and reapply it to EU. Then see how your development, and that of your Avatar, explode.

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