How life can be compared to a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
You can find a lot of definitions of human life. Being a gamer, I have my own. For me, it is nothing but a huge Open-World Role-Playing Game that you can play with others in innumerable ways and can end up with a countless number of possible endings.
There are many rules as such but at the same time there are no rules at all and the player is sort of almost always free to play it their way.
Usually, video games are based on real-life but this comparison goes in the reverse direction where it compares human life to a game. Not to say that it is exactly similar to what one would imagine being a game, there are many differences as well.
There are many servers to choose from, except for the fact that the player does not get to choose. They get allotted a server randomly. In most cases, the server allotted during the start of the game ends up being the one for the rest of the game.
Analogy: Place where you are born
Starting a New Game
It is not the player who starts a new game, the game just happens to start. You like it or not, the player is suddenly in the game, starting at level zero. It takes a few months to a couple of years for the player to realize that they are in the game and that there exists a game in the first place.
Character creation is another aspect of the game that the player does not have direct control over. The game starts with one of the available genders, the look of the player is mostly predetermined and so are the traits, base skills, and talents.
Analogy: Your physical characteristics, ethnicity, and initial personality
Upon character creation, the player is also assigned a faction, which as you would have expected, the player has no control on. Unless later during the game the player changes factions, it remains the same for the entire game.
Analogy: Your family and community
The gameplay experience is affected by a combination of factors like the server selection, the not-so-controllable player character, and the so-very-random faction assigned to the player. Very rarely do you see players getting a hang of how to control the gameplay experience, regardless of the random (or predetermined) factors.
Analogy: Life in general
There is generally no training for newbies. Every player is required to learn the game mechanics by themself. Some players are skilled enough to learn quickly while some struggle to even understand the basics. After investing a few hundred hours, most players learn the controls and that becomes a part of their muscle-memory in a way that they do not even need to think about the controls anymore.
Analogy: Infants getting used to their own body
The player class is usually assigned after several thousand hours into the game. Most players eventually develop their character combining multiple classes and spending points to assign skills to their character. This is where players figure out (at a high level) how they want to play the game and here is where the game can be influenced at a personal level.
Analogy: Personality and profession
The game is nothing without NPCs. There are allies, enemies and there are neutral characters. Usually, most of the game involves co-op missions with friendly NPCs and trying to avoid (or fighting off) the bandits.
Analogy: Family, friends, colleagues and other humans you interact with
Most players follow the main quest. They pursue a certain high-score and the main quests are mostly inspired by other NPCs.
Analogy: Personal aspirations
Quite a huge number of gameplay hours is spent growing the inventory. Players often compete with fellow players for inventory in terms of quantity and quality.
Analogy: Physical assets
The in-game currency is one of the biggest sources of imbalance in the game world. Many players go against the rules to earn more credits to make the game easier for themselves, sometimes making it difficult for the others.
There are a lot of collectibles scattered around the game world. Some of them are revealed on exploring the map while others are gained by helping other players.
Analogy: Good experiences and kind deeds
Players develop karma throughout the game and whether it is positive, negative or something in between depends upon how they approach quests and what path they choose to complete tasks.
Some players use crafting to aid themselves in the game. Sometimes the crafted items end up increasing the inventory and otherwise, the player can sell them for credits.
Along with the main quests, there are a lot of optional sidequests to complete that are scattered all around the game world. These sidequests range from simple fetch quests to something far bigger and complicated, thus unlocking a few collectibles for the player.
Analogy: Side-ventures, collaborative tasks, and daily chores
Some of the many rules of the game can also be standardized by joining a guild. With the guild’s rules in place, it becomes a lot easier to progress through the game. You can optionally avoid joining any guild and make standards of your own.
Analogy: Religion (if any)
The game world even though being unimaginably huge, the playable area is quite small. Very rarely would you see a few players play missions outside the general playable area.
Analogy: The planet earth (and the universe around it)
Players can refer to a few walkthroughs from other senior players so that they have an idea on how to play the game in a better way and score more points, also possibly get a better ending.
Analogy: Religious figures, player idols
Most players also invest in-game credits to purchase safe-houses. At times players tend to focus more on the main quest and sometimes take up more sidequests to earn enough credits to unlock the desired safe-house.
Players occasionally engage in boss-fights, most of which are pointless. The game can be played entirely with stealth without engaging in encounters with non-friendly NPCs.
Analogy: People causing you trouble
The game provides a continuous leveling up of the players. Unlike in other games, a player does not need to meet XP requirement to level up. Different players unlock different perks and abilities after reaching certain levels.
Inviting more players to the game
After reaching a certain level, players have an opportunity to invite a few new players to the game. The newly added players generally tend to join the player’s faction.
Analogy: Having kids
Some players exploit the game by using cheat codes. Not only does this do unfair to the game, but most of the time also ends up costing hit points for other players.
Analogy: Crime and using unethical means to achieve things
The end game is not certain. The game tends to end for a player randomly, regardless of their level, XP, class, gameplay style, etc. After the game ends, there is no way you can load and continue from a previously saved game. You are just kicked out of the game.