Embracing My Gaming Persona to Bring the Agency in Virtual Worlds Into the Real World

Oh my god! I just had the wildest thought that made me step back and rethink everything I’ve been trying to do, including the struggle with my life’s work and why it hasn’t been working well, and how a potential pivot might radically change everything, creating a more spontaneous flow for my work.

The other day I had a chat with Sunil Malhotra from Dave Gray’s School of the Possible and after sharing some of my thoughts, beliefs, and idea for what I was trying to do (seeing Life as an MMORPG), he provided feedback that basically aligned perfectly with the approach I wanted to initially take but gave up on, that being targeting gamers with MMORPG experience specifically as my primary audience. So his feedback of leveraging my gaming experiences made me realize I needed to go back to that approach and try it again.

Today though, while taking a break, I checked out some gaming news to find out that CCP Games is releasing another new expansion to their twenty year old game Eve Online. After scanning through their keynote speech though, what I intuitively took away from it was that our virtual game worlds are becoming more and more what we want our real world to be (as noted by the keynote quotes below). In effect, just like in games, we want life to be a “sandbox” whereby we have the freedom and agency to forge our own destiny.

They’re tapping into your fundamental needs and desires.

You’re in control of your destiny. 

We see a future where you have even stronger agency and ownership with more tools and more freedom. Unlocking total creativity…

What this means is that our online virtual worlds and our offline real world are beginning to align, converge, and bridge one another through play. In effect, these online virtual worlds are effectively playgrounds where we can innovate and experiment with newer ways of cooperating and collaborating with one another. In effect, they are answering the very thing that defined the quest of my life twenty years ago when I questioned the way that work worked and wanted to find a newer way of doing it, as well as newer way of being within it.

In fact, if I didn’t know better, based upon the technologies that CCP Games is creating for their game and how “corporations” as organizational communities within the game can function more emergently and autonomously now, with these newer technologies, I don’t doubt that these ideas and technologies could one day bridge to our own world, making organizational work much more radically self-organizing than it was before.

But that’s not the greatest epiphany of this all. What I realized from this all was that perhaps this is why I haven’t been making the progress and momentum that I’ve wanted with my work because I haven’t fully accepted and integrated my gaming experiences and identity into it. And more importantly, I haven’t leveraged it to its fullest potential, so as to help me with my work. So all this time, I’ve been pushing away from my previous gaming identity, when in fact perhaps I should have been using it as my main means of identity and communication.

So to sum this all up, perhaps my approach isn’t to be “Nollind Whachell” teaching vertical development and how it similar to a MMORPG. Perhaps instead my approach is to fully embody my “gaming persona” and teach gamers how virtual games worlds in MMORPGs are helping us to explore newer way of working and living.

So as Sunil hinted at himself, what if these experiences of playing MMORPGs makes these gamers more capable of understanding The Future of Work more so than other people because the narrative for it is so strangely similar. And even more so, in doing so, these gamers understanding this larger context can then in turn help teach other non-gamers about it, so they can understand it as well.

Our mission is to make virtual worlds more meaningful than real life.

CCP Games

Leave a Reply