Ever felt that if you aren’t getting something done, you are wasting time?
When it’s Game Over, will you have achieved a high enough score?
How rare is it these days to find an event in London which is current, relevant, inspirational and leaves you thinking about your day-to-day life attitude in a thoroughly different way. And what a fabulous way to spend a couple of hours? Sunday Sermons c/o The School of Life, aka Skool 4 Grown Ups are invigorating.
This had been in the diary for a while, further to looming hints that my natural gift of procrastination was back with a vengeance. I was loathe to let it back in residence full time, only part part time if you please. Back to Autumn at The School of Life, and to Jane McDonigal’s sermon on Productivity. Jane ((Jane is a serious gamer from San Fran) was dressed to the nines, in a kind of mini frou frou ball dress complete with netting, ample cleavage on show and a flowing blond mane. Not your average gamer me thought.
I was expecting a bunch of nerds and IT passionistas however, as ever. was totally misdirected with my ’other people’ assumptions. In fact, the room was bursting with relatively affluent 30somethings in their Sunday best (no hats / frocks, just the prerequisite slick overcoats, pricey jeans, black boots, expensive accessories) all doing the London thing. What better way to start the crisp sunny day.
We were greeted at the door of the old Church Hall by a super tall circus-style man, dressed like a Pacman. Nice touch. Similar to morning hymns at school, we sang ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ in unison, led by ‘our music teacher’ up on the stage. We were asked to write our ‘to do’ list for the following week on a red piece of paper, and then use same piece of paper to construct paper aeroplanes and fly them across the room. Jane had cast her spell. We were eating out of her hand. Audience participation was a must, but in no way contrived.
Jane educated us on what it truly means to be productive. FACT: This generation becomes bored frighteningly easily. Is our ‘to do list’ merely an attempt to feel more adequate about our existence? Or are we going round and round in ever-increasing circles, creating lists to cross them off so that we can start all over again? Pink Floyd immediately springs to mind. Are we a blatant product of modern capitalism, ie. our relentless bitter sweet self-questioning and quest to fulfill our daily duty of contributing to the GDP? Do you feel that if you are not getting something done, you are wasting time?
What we have achieved is a continuous rant to self. As Jane said, when it says ‘Game Over’, will we have reached a high enough score? So inherent is our fear of being unproductive, that we dont know what it is we are here to actually produce.
Jane taught us of the possible parallels to leading a more fulfilled life, via playing computer games.
According to Dr Martin Seligman’s new book, Flourish, due to be published by Simon & Schuster next spring, the following 4 x factors are necessary if if we are to flourish (and these same 4 things can be provided by playing computer games:
1. POSITIVE EMOTION