Thursday, August 9, 2012

Playing a Game, Thinking of Life

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"Unblock Me" is a game for Android, iPod touch, iPhone and iPad that makes one think logically; however, as far as I'm concerned, when playing it, I'm thinking philosophically. In a strange way, the game reminds me of life itself, with its difficulties, doubts and surprises.

If you have never played this game yourself, I must tell you that the objective of "Unblock Me" is to get the red block across the field by means of removing obstacles (other blocks of different lengths). Horizontal blocks, like the red one, can be only moved horizontally, and vertical - vertically. Simple, isn't it?

Simple as life itself. We often know what the objective is, and on the way to achieving our goals, we encounter lots of obstacles. It happens a lot that in order to remove an obstacle we have to modify or get rid of other ones, which we don't always know how to do. There is a block somewhere that doesn't let us move forward, and it is only more annoying if the goal we set is about to be achieved. When we think about it, playing around with other blocks, moving them back and forth, we finally find a solution, and it seems so easy that it astonishes us that we could not figure it out earlier.

I'm only on the beginner level of the game, and still, I occasionally get stuck with the same problem. It seems like the puzzle is unsolvable. What I like to do on those occasions is to put the puzzle aside and come back to it later. When I do so, it often happens that I solve it easily, just by looking at it anew, and then it is not unsolvable anymore. Similarly, if something worries me and I can't decide what to do, I sometimes let it sit, "sleep on it," and a new day often brings relief.

There are also moments when the solution is right there; the red one is unblocked and is waiting to be sent through, but I keep playing with the obstacles, not seeing that here it is, the puzzle is solved, and I should make the last move and go on to another puzzle. Some are easier than others, and they might take less time and effort on the way to "unblocking;"however, the hardest puzzles bring more satisfaction when they are resolved, and they often turn into learning experiences we can use for other puzzles we struggle with in the future.

And the most important thing is to remember that it is nothing but a game. Giving up is not an option; that's for the weak, so keep trying, let yourself rest as needed and don't let the obstacles outwit you. It's you who's playing the game and not the other way around.

Get "Unblock Me Free" for Apple products or Android and start working on your own philosophy!

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