"...what do I do now?"
I am wrestling with this question IRL (in real life). This is a painful post for me, I am weeping as I write this.
I am in a peculiar position for someone of my generation.
My closest intimates are now dead or may be facing a terminal diagnosis, save one. One of my two remaining intimate female friends is currently being tested for Enteropathy Associated T-Cell Lymphoma. If it is the lymphoma - only 20% of patients survive five years from diagnosis, even with treatment. She is only 38 years old.
I am undone by this possibility with regards to her. I care for her, she is a glittering and shining soul. She has many gifts to share with those in need, she has a delightful sense of humor - I love my friend.
I am prayerfully considering her. Being part of hospice for her if the tides sweep us in this direction. Results are being waited on.
Then, my thoughts turn to myself.
This is the stuff that people in their old age face. Not someone in my age bracket. At least not in this time in history. I am widowed. I lost meaningful access to my three step-children. I have had several close friends die from illness, accident or suicide.
So, I sit here, alone, in the beautiful mountains on a Sunday. On Monday, work will overtake me - droves of younger humanity will arrive for programming... programming having nothing to do with existentialism or loss. This morning the birds are a wild fury of food gathering, nest building and mating. I am alone with my thoughts.
I turn to Google.
Surely someone has written about losing all their loved ones. Where are my way-showers?
And I only run across this thread in a video gaming forum.
Now granted, I will go back an refine my search criteria. I entered the words "everyone is dead and gone." I need to refine my search to get more supportive data.
But this is still worth exploration. I am not a gamer. Being an outsider looking in works well for analysis.
How do gamers deal with everyone dying in a game?
How do game developers deal with everyone dying?
(You can click on the individual screen captures to make them larger. Click your back key to return to the blog post.)
Misspellings have not been edited.
First, we see such anger and desperate attempts to "fix" the problem. "The more I think about it the more angry I get." and "You can go back in time."...
Ain't that the truth. Maybe I could go back in time to my decisions and picked healthier people to associate with. To marry. To pour into. People who were not targets for accidents, who were not emotional and could not deal with the world on it's terms. People who do not succumb to cancer. But, it does nothing for me...
The thread continues and then one young gamer rants: "this has really anoyed me and i dont want to play it any more its a good game right up untill the end...."
I feel this way right now, in the present moment. I do not want to play any more. It was a really good game.... that is, until the end. This is not my end, not yet anyway. I do not get to purchase another game and trash this one. I am caught within the game. How do I watch everyone that I am close to die (and be on the possible threshold of losing yet another one) at such a young age? I have years ahead of me (maybe?). All the attachments that I have poured into to with dedication and with enthusiasm - are gone or may be gone soon.
I am not THAT old. I soon may have no one to remember any of my younger days with. No one that I told secrets to will wink at me when I am sixty and remind me of some part of my past. My past evaporates except what I can recall, draw out of myself. There is no rich past that will be added to by the commentary of my intimates. I may soon have no one to rehearse memories with and I am only about half way through a normal lifespan.
There is a questioning of the system - "should a year be 360 days?" (granted, this should be 365 days, young gamer, unless it is a play on the Xbox360 name). There is an expectation of the duration of the game. I admit to having the same expectation. Why is the game over before the expected time frame?
The thread continues with anger and problem solving suggestions to alleviate the woe - and then, boom, there it is:
Here are the words of a young gamer - "i made all the right and noble decisions. i kept my promises. and they fought along side with me. lives were lost. it happens. life goes on. but id rather re-establish a kingdom knowing a war was one than win a war and have everyone look down upon me anyways because of all i put them through and for not keeping my promises. i guess either way, people would have died. then again, its just a game. and im still alive."
I am taking it that the author meant to say "a war was won" not "one".... nevertheless, life goes on, I am still alive.
But what is being alive without connection?
And how, at my age, do I even begin to start all over again? I do not have the same possibilities when I was younger. We were all younger, crafting our lives. You do not get to go back. It does not work that way.
Will the remaining days of my life be spent missing so many people and longing for them and finding the future to be nothing but a painful deserted thicket of loneliness?
When game designers craft their stories, how they resolve this dead end, this closed off alleyway? This is not a game with zombies that regenerate and come back again. And there is a community inferred in the relationships in the game.
The thread continues, and at it's conclusion, we read this:
" all you have to do is sleep for a while and they should come back. you dont have to play the lute"
This is how the developers deal with the loss of your entire village. You just take a long nap. Then they all resurrect. You do not even have to play a lute.
I will have a second blog entry that goes beyond this mere series of observations. I do wonder what messages are being absorbed by our children about the nature of death through these subtle nuances within video games. The developers want satisfied customers who keep playing the game, hook others into the game and purchase Fable 4 when it is on the shelf.
Maybe our God, or the universe is not as concerned about having satisfied customers.
"Fable III" is an popular Xbox 360 and Windows franchise, selling more than six million copies. In "Fable III," players rally and fight alongside their people, ascend to the seat of power, and experience the true meaning of love and loss while defending their throne. In their quest to seize power and defend the kingdom, the choices players make will change the world around them, for the greater good or their own personal gain.
Fable III Xbox 360 was released in October 2010. You can find this thread by clicking HERE.