Have you ever longed for a world beyond your own? One in which you can call home? A temporary or even eternal respite from the harsh reality of human life? Welcome to the world of dreams.
The dream world has caught the imaginations of scientists, philosophers, and everyday person alike throughout our history. It doesn’t matter who you are. You can be poor, rich, imprisoned, atheist, Muslim, straight, gay, sociopathic, anything on the human spectrum. But the fact remains is that everyone dreams.
Dreams can tell much about our individual selves, for those who can see the signs and meanings in their inner universe. AAA video game publishers at the moment can only dream of tailoring their billion-dollar franchises to each individual across the globe. Praise to The Master Game Designer for His design is beyond measure, far ahead of His finite creation that is the human race.
Every individual is unique, so too can be said for their dreams. A space in which we can claim thoughts as our own, wallowing in our subconscious free from restricted waking thought.
Throughout my life, my dreams have always consisted of unimaginable worlds, apocalyptic elements, and several cases of premonitions. I know many don’t believe in the idea of premonition but I can attest to the fact that it has happened to me precisely four times in my life. The worlds that I enter are so fantastical that they can’t be compared to any video game, movie, book, or anime constructed by conscious thought. There have even been cases where I dreamt in game design which has happened several times.
I was born into The Waking Dream as a bedwetter and for ten years I was physically abused for it by my stepdad. For many years I wondered, why me? Why have I been given this nightmare, this unfortunate situation? Growing up my home away from home was video games, anime, sleeping over my friends’ and Grandmother’s house, and my dreams. A sort of bitter but very sweet nostalgic childhood if you ask me.
I’ve had many vivid dreams in my life, but none of them can be compared to one I’ve had in the summer of 2015. It began taking place in a gray, dreary, and industrial-like cityscape above a destroyed highway, think Midgar from FF7. On that highway occurred a high-speed chase that just came to a close, and beneath the highway’s rubble laid a girl with long fair white hair, adorned in a white dress, and possessed a warm glowing aura. At this moment I was the girl as well as looking over the entire incident like a camera in Halo Forge Mode. What followed was the camera moving into the rubble to focus on the girl, and at that moment she/I transformed into a white rat.
The screen then turned to black, and she/I was transported to another world where large hills and a huge windmill stood tall in the distance. This setting had a cloudy but nostalgic and crystal-like appearance. But at this moment everything felt peaceful and calm, and what followed in this dream was even more beautiful.
It was late evening, the sun was setting and I was walking along the shore of a beautiful beach. I wasn’t wearing any clothes and neither was everyone around me who were all Japanese men and women. I sunk my feet into the wet sand and it felt like cookie dough but with a temperature that was cold but inviting. I began to walk into the water and was met with also a pleasant inviting coldness as if my body embraced the ocean like a mermaid or newborn to a mother’s breast. Behind me stood large condo homes with windows that soaked in the sun’s rays, and above me, I could see millions of dandelion spores floating in the direction of the ocean.
All I could sense in this moment was absolute unity and peace, so much so that war and animosity of any kind were virtually non-existent in the human psyche. I wanted to stay here forever, but then I emerged from my slumber to find myself sleeping on the floor of my younger brother’s room. I felt a deep sense of sadness and longing after that, I didn’t want to come back to the “real”-world, I wanted to die peacefully.
If you wanted my opinion on the state of the world, I believe that our actions and those of the world planners are in direct conflict with human needs for survival. There are a number of people who’re nihilistic, atheist, or agnostic, that Life Online is meaningless so why amount to anything? The values that we hold dear, family, democracy, truth, freedom, seem like a joke nowadays. And I can certainly understand why we’d feel that way, but this dream is far from meaningless.
We as humans have what is called free will, to choose our destiny, and that’s easier said than done. But human action is driven by core values, something that many of us young people are lacking in this day and age. If I’m a worldbuilder, what do I build from? I had to really sit down last week and figure out what it is that I live for. I don’t have all the answers nor am I an authority but I can say for certain that in this chaotic game called Life Online, having core values to live by can provide much clarity. If we want family, how do we build and maintain it? No one can give us freedom, it starts in the mind, but how do we foster and inspire others to use it?
Just like values can be built, they can also be destroyed, and there are forces out there that seek to dismantle them. I’ve witnessed firsthand how an entire family can fall apart resulting in catastrophic effects such as suicide, depression, hate, and resentment. It’s amazing how one act can make all the blocks come tumbling down.
The Waking Dream is the one dream we all share, and we define it through our thoughts and actions, sort of like an ultimate MMO. As groundbreaking and profitable the video game industry is, it excludes a huge portion of people for reasons that can be economic or disability-related. It is predominantly a visual medium and that’s why I commend Bethesda for releasing Skyrim Alexa because it caters to a heavily underserved audience that is blind gamers. I mean have you ever heard of an “audio game”?
To me an ultimate video game console or service would be one in which all people can participate, it’d be founded on the philosophy that everyone, regardless of who they are, dreams. Where there is no door, no power button, no controllers, no headsets, absolute zero barriers to entry for anyone to immerse themselves in the worlds that we as humans can create. The collective human wisdom by everyone on the human spectrum, immersed in one fabricated virtual world.
If I had to say what the meaning of life is, it’d simply be to leave the world better than it was before you arrived. You are important, but Life Online can go on without you because it has to. What matters is what we can do to enrich life on Earth to make it a bit sweeter. To have sweet dreams one must confront the darkness and see the world for what it is without rose-tinted glasses.
It is great that we have those who make life sweeter while informing us of serious issues that we face as a race, those like Square Enix, Dave Chappelle, Anno Hideaki, TOMS, Imaishi Hiroyuki, The Wachowski Brothers, etc. And that’s what I’m here to do with NGI and beyond, and I hope you’ll have me for this ride and thank you for sticking with me this far.
Despite the ills that plague our world, as with all things, someday the dream will end, and what will be waiting for us will be an epic Day beyond human imagination.