Psychological Play

In reflecting upon trying to merge the world of work and the world of play within my life, I’m realizing that my use of the word “metaphor” may be the root cause of a lot of my confusion and lack of progression in my work. For example, I’ve been saying that The Future of Work is metaphorically like MMORPGs.

This morning I realized that what I really should be saying is that the MMORPG experience psychologically embodies The Future of Work.

When I make this shift, using the word “psychologically” instead of “metaphorically,” suddenly there seems to be a greater weight and seriousness to what I’m saying. And there should be. What I’m talking about here is an arduous, epic, inner journey through our inner psychological terrain that helps us to transform the way we perceive ourselves and our world around us.

This is why so much of getting to The Future of Work and living within it deals with our mental health and well-being, with us gaining a greater awareness of them and taking a greater responsibility of managing them.

At the same time though, there is still this association and relationship with play though. But play at an unconventional level we’ve never imagined before.

For it is play, at least the play I’m referring to here versus what we conventionally think of as “play”, that allows us to psychologically move and mature into newer territory, newer states, and newer stages of being. 

After the field is prepared, at a certain point in this creative process a person is ready to play. A moment comes when there is simply no other choice. We have to liberate ourselves from the idea that playing is for children. Playing, as we shall see, is for maturation. In that sense, as Jung said, play becomes serious.

D. Stephenson Bond, Living Myth

Update: Just thinking about this some more and realizing that getting to The Future of Work requires us to “level up” psychologically. Therefore, more appropriately, Life itself is psychologically a MMORPG and The Future of Work is just the next “expansion” we collectively need to “level up” for.

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for the roleplaying game called Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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