"Wouldn't it be kewl if it turned out that life were like one big video game?"
Have you wondered about this?
Many authors have used this notion very successfully as a plot element for science fiction books and movies. They are not alone in this. Tibetan shamen and Australian aborigines tell the same tale. There is something about the notion that "one day we would wake up to find this was all a dream and actually we had another life to which we were previously unaware" that is tantalizing and captivating.
Let's take this what if as true. Einstein is reported to have developed the Theory of Specific Relativity by conjecturing "what if two parrellel lines could meet?" There are so many examples in science of startling discoveries made by those that said what if. They didn't say windmills were giants. They said "what if windmills were giants." Then, rather than just grunting in imitation of the current television funnyman and falling back into apathy, they checked it out.
"Check it out." Three of the most empowering words you can be given. Rather then either taking someone else's word for it, or worse yet giving up on finding an answer, do something yourself that has a possibility of shedding light on the question at hand -- whatever the question may be.
Check it out, pretend, hypothesize and see where it leads. In other words be a scientist -- a real scientist and check it out yourself. You will be surprised at how incredibly far you can go. "What if we could like send a robot to Mars and move it around looking at stuff?" "What if we could eat the leaves of a strange chinese tree and it would like cure some rare forms of leukemia?" "What if my computer was hooked up to a network of computers around the world and they could send information back and forth through like phone lines?"
In the case of the "Just Because Club", we present a set of experiments that we have used in our little game of "wouldn't it be kewl if life were like a big video game?" We call these experiments and those doing them the "Just Because Club."
Why call it the "Just Because Club?" Because, none of us could justify in the face of cynicism or sarcasm why we were "messing" around with these experiments -- nor did we wish to. Our answer to the question of "why are you doing this stupid experiment?" was just because. And that turns out to be not a bad answer. Not only did it keep us from being put into the position of defending something we weren't interested in being forced to defend, it also allowed us the freedom to not jump into conclusions.
Not jumping to conclusions turns out to be a pretty good habit. So we encourage that in ourselves and in others. Notice the suggestion is not "don't ever come to any conclusion." Rather the suggestion is not to jump to a conclusion. Jump meaning to form a conclusion prematurely before all the data is in. That's very different than never coming to a conclusion.
When we first ran the experiment called The Just Because Club it was a smashing success.
Because we felt the question "wouldn't it be kewl if life were like a big video game" was important we didn't want to prejudice the answer by too much verbiage. Hence the assignment of a set of simple activities (without benefit of voluminous explanation and other expository pontification) was the order of the day. In this case, as in most others, simple was better. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.