Friday, August 19, 2011

P2L, noob.

For those of you not steeped in gaming culture, we have a friendly taunt - "L2P" - which means, "learn to play." You're tellin' the dude that he's got a lot of learning to catch up on. And while learning how to play stuff is definitely a worthwhile goal, I think the taunt's backwards. You need to play to learn.

Life's a game. Our generation was raised on gaming and we're pretty lucky for that. Most games have objectives (not all, lest Wittgenstein roll over in his grave) and we've spent thousands of hours practicing how to perceive objectives, brainstorm ways to achieve them, and execute on our plans. That's practice that you can put to use.

Once you view life as a game, everything that has been attained becomes attainable. There are rules to the game, and similarly there are rules to life. You learn the rules, you define your goals, you brainstorm approaches, and you execute.

But, like all games, some people are better at achieving their goals than others, and it's not because they were staring at the manual longer. It's because they got out there and played the game, lost a bajillion times, and kept getting back up. They view everything as play, and they play to learn. That's why they're good at what they do.

Reading is great, because the people that are good at things will tell you the lessons they learned the hard way. However, procedural knowledge is not the same as declarative knowledge; knowing-that is not knowing-how. Get out there and play to learn.

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