Viewing life as a video game

Viewing Life As A Video Game

Life is like a video game. 

Your body is your avatar

Your avatar has a health bar, levels, skills, quests, and other statistics to keep track of. 

There is no map but you have goals, virtues, and a moral compass to guide you. 

Seeing life as one big, chaotic video game is a concept that I think enables people to have more joy and less stress in their lives, as well as provide a framework for thinking about all the different aspects of your life in a way thats manageable, and even fun. 

When you are born in the video game of life, you are forced to play and try to survive for as long as you can with the random circumstances you were given. No one gives you a rulebook, theres no correct way to play the game, so you have to learn the rules as you go and try to find the best way that you can play the game. Making sure that you’re not playing anyone else’s game, and are playing the game of life in the way that works best for you, so that when it’s game over, you are satisfied and leave this world with as little regrets as possible. 

Key Elements To The Game Of Life


You are born at Level 0. As you play, gaining experience, skills, and completing quests, you will level up, increasing your baseline statistics and your abilities to help you complete further quests. 

You can level up in the game by gaining skills, experience or completing quests & building the right environment around your avatar. Each level is harder to complete than the last and requires more energy, commitment, or time. This is what makes progress and leveling up exponential. 

As you level up in the game you may find yourself addicted to this progress, luckily this is probably the healthiest addiction to have, motivating you to improve in each aspect of your life. Enjoying the process of leveling up, is synonymous with enjoying the experience of life itself. 

Skill Tree

Picture a tree, with a different branches representing skills, and the sub-branches representing sub-skills underneath that. 

You start with no skills, except for basic survival skills. 

As you play you develop skills that will help you in certain areas of your gameplay. Social skills help increase relationship health.  Active skills help in your avatars ability to complete quests and gain knowledge or achievements. 

Raising awareness of your skill tree can help you find the weak points in your avatars skill set, and you to consistently focus on improving and reevaluating these weak points. 


Quests ( also known as goals ) are the drivers of progress in your life, quests are what allow you to challenge yourself, develop skills, and rack up achievements. 

As you play and complete quests, you unlock harder and harder quests to complete.

Certain quests you can’t complete without doing the ones before. 

Certain quests are always available, however they will require a higher cost of time. 

The easier quests are what most people stick to, with small goals and small achievement from them. 

Unfortunately what most people do not realize is that the harder quests your avatar take on are, the more beneficial they will be. While it costs you more time and energy, it results in more experience, skills, and allows you to level up in the game faster. 

When you fail or complete a quest, it is important to think about what went well or what went wrong so that you can learn more effectively for your next quest. 

Imaginary Quests

These are the quests that are set for everyone upon starting your game, they are optional, but are made to feel as if they aren’t. These are the quests that society considers the most “normal", such as going to college, working for a company, and getting married. 

Most people that aren't aware they are playing a game, take to these implied quests more than anyone else. They see these quests as the only way forward, because the majority of the players around them do as well. 

As you raise awareness of your avatars abilities, skills, and values, you will naturally begin to question these implied quests. Seeing that there are other quests available for your avatar to take on opens your options as to what your avatar will spend their time and energy on. 


As you play, completing quests and gathering achievements you will gain experience. This experience will help you complete further quests in less time. This experience directly ties to your skill tree, when you gain experience while doing a specific activity will develop the skills required for that activity. The more skill you have in a specific activity the less energy and time it will take to repeat that activity. 

The newer activities and skills you work on will give you more experience than the old. The more uncomfortable a quest is for your avatar, the more likely you are to gain more experience, develop new skills, and level up faster. 

Every time you change something in your avatars actions or environment, you make it easier to gain more experience, by forcing your avatar to try new things.


Your stats are as follows: 

All of these stats will change how you play the game, and will impact your ability to level up, gain experience or collect achievements. 

If you focus too much on any single stat, your other stats will fall. You have to keep them all balanced in order to play your best game. 

The ability to keep all of these statistics balanced is a skill in itself, and as you improve this skill you are directly affecting the time and energy it will require for your avatar to level up. 

These stats each correlate to an aspect of your avatars gameplay. 

Physical health that maintains your survival is most significantly impacted by your mental health and energy. 

Mental health is key to the enjoyment of your gameplay and when it improves or declines will directly effect your avatars relationship health, physical health and energy levels. 

Relationship health is the quality of your relationships with the people in your life, your family, friends, and even the strangers you pass day-to-day. Maintaining these relationships is vital, because this is not only your support system, but also who you will spend time with and make memories with. 

Increasing enjoyment is typically what people see the purpose of playing the game as, but I don't think that enjoyment comes only from hedonistic values. ( the pure increase of pleasure and decrease of pain typically through the use of drugs, sex, & distraction) 

I think that increasing your avatars enjoyment is more complex than hedonism, it involves challenging yourself, listening to your morals, and doing what is meaningful to you. 


your achievement tab is filled with whatever your avatar considers successes whether thats completed quests, new skills, or core experiences. 

Personal successes, such as supporting friends and family, hitting a goal, building a habit, or completing a personal project are just as valuable achievements as professional achievements such as getting a promotion, starting a business, or passing a class. 

When you get an achievement It is important to acknowledge your progress and appreciate the moment before you switch gears and focus on the next quest. 


Your energy is valuable, you must spend it on the things that are important to you. Luckily your energy is a renewable resource, if you make sure to replenish it with purposeful activities to relax.  

Everything you do costs energy, but there are few things that can replenish it. Sleeping, eating, socializing, and quiet time are the key ways to relax but this is not a finite list, there are infinite ways for each person to replenish their energy. You just have to go looking for them. 

If you overspend your energy you will end up in an energy debt. (burnout)

Your energy impacts your ability to thrive in every aspect of your life, from your work to your relationships. Keeping track of how you spend and replenish your energy is the number one way that you can avoid unnecessary stress in your life, balance your stats, and increase your enjoyment. 


There is no map in this game, but you have a compass to guide you, based on your avatars  morals and current quests. If you don't like the direction your avatar is going in the game of life, know that you can always shift the direction in exchange for the investment of time spent thinking about your quests, virtues and morals. 

This compass is pointing in a different direction for every player. For some players, it points towards increasing joy. For others it is pointing towards ease of life, hoping to increase stability and reduce friction to do the things important to them. 

Some are guided by their morality, not caring about ease, but valuing virtues for themselves and the players around them. 

Some are guided as they have been trained to, hoping to survive for as long as possible, following the path set out for them by the imaginary quests set by society. 


Winning the game of life is not a one time thing, It is a never-ending series of tasks to make your life fulfilling. To make your life fulfilling you have to mix things up, have new experiences, take on new quests, follow your compass and see where it takes you. Seizing opportunities when they arise and creating them when they don't. Doing what is meaningful to you so you can feel pride as you go. 

Winning is different for everyone, the only universal way to win is to be satisfied with your gameplay when the time comes that it's game over. Because you cannot know exactly when your time is up, I think it helps to refer the ancient roman epithet of “Momento Mori” keeping the inevitability of death in mind so that you can be your best self at all times. 

Game Over

But when your health meter runs out, its game over. 

There is no extra life or secret power up to bring you back. Once its game over you are either satisfied with how you played or you aren't, by that time it will be too late to do anything about it. 

Do what you can to make sure that when it hits game over, you don’t have regrets, you've done what you can and you've played the game of life to the best of your ability.

We will always want to reach for more, but that doesn't mean that we can’t be happy with how we act and where we are in the present moment. 

The point of gamifying life 

The idea of gamifying existence is to help us not take everything so seriously, while providing a framework for living that is customizable to whoevers playing. 

We all live our lives differently, with different goals and values to motivate us. There is no right answer on how to live your life, but the way that you do should be aligned with your avatars goals, so that you can live life as fulfilled as possible. 

I have personally found that by thinking of life as a winnable game, it is more enjoyable and less stressful. 


Playing to win gives me a reason to always stay moving, motivating me to take on obstacles, and always improve. 

Keep journeying🤙,