Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

A thought from Minecraft #themeaningoflife part 3

When looking for the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” I now find myself thinking about it through the lens of Minecraft.

A bank holiday afforded me the opportunity to spend some time understanding Minecraft. My son spends a lot of time playing Minecraft. There are landscapes – and you mine and cultivate the landscape. There are two modes for playing Minecraft: Creative and Survival.

In creative you can build cathedrals, housing estates, farms and machines. In survival you are in fear for your ‘life’. The meaning of life in creative mode is all very purposeful and productive. In survival, the meaning of life is simply about getting through to the next day, able to sustain yourself.

Back to real life. I wonder if the first world search for meaning in life is a result of being able to live, largely, in Creative mode. Given that we generally live with the assumption that we are not going to starve, be attacked, “be blowed up by a creeper” etc, we are driven to look for meaning in our own creativity – the things we can do, make and influence.

But if we live in survival mode, the search for “meaning” is perhaps the least of our worries. If there is a severe weather event, we have to survive, rebuild and cope. If our daughter is kidnapped, we have to find her and seek justice. If we are hungry, we need to grow or find food.

Some of us are in the position that we have choice about what to do with our time and our resources. We are protected by “rights” and laws and the infrastructure of the country. There are people all over the world working unthinkable hours for very little pay, and the opportunity for creativity beyond the workplace is negligible. Do these lives have less meaning? I find that notion abhorrent, somehow. (I’ll write about futility and suffering another day, in relation to the meaning of life).

To conclude for today – a possible ‘meaning’ for life could be ‘Survival’, but those of us fortunate enough to live our lives largely in ‘Creative’ feel that we lack a clarity about the meaning of our lives. Perhaps those of us who feel we lack meaning should be glad that we don’t have a gun held to our heads, a missing relative, a hungry family or another impending tragedy – which would, I suspect, clarify things.

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2 thoughts on “A thought from Minecraft #themeaningoflife part 3

  1. Excellent point about the difference in First World nations and the Developing nations.

  2. theotheri on said:

    The distinction of Creative and Survival modes is new to me, and presents a stimulating challenge. Your thinking about the different options and their implications leads me to wonder if we are often asking question with the words “what is the meaning of life” but really meaning “what is the meaning of my life,” rather than “what is the meaning of life in general?” or minimally the more Christian perspective which might be closer to “what is the meaning of our lives?”

    We do live in a time of individuality, the like of which we never have been able to do before. That has great benefits and joys and unique responsibilities. But it makes it easier to forget that we all need each other, that we are dependent on each other, and the value and meaning of my life can’t be separated from everybody else’s value and meaning.

    Thank you for the insight. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on the subject..

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