Alive? Dead? Rebirth? Afterbirth? Afterbirth+? Afterbirth+ with mods? ... what was I talking about, again?
The reveal and (later) presentation of Nintendo Switch has become an indicator of a time of change. With the Switch, the public has finally accepted that Nintendo's entire strategy is on an irrevocably divergent course compared to Microsoft and Sony. But there is still a lot of confusion in the air. It's the nature of change... it creates uncertainty. And the human mind detests uncertainty. So opinion is divided on how the Switch will fare, but there is a lot of bravado behind all the opinion. Some say that this will be the resurgence of Nintendo as the dominant console. Others predict that the “motion control gimmick” will be the final nail in the coffin of the company.
Is this really going to be the death of Nintendo and its offbeat ways? Or will it mark the beginning of the end for cell-phone gaming, as people discover the magic of mobile couch co-op? Or will the failure of the Switch foreshadow the death of all console gaming?
All these questions really got me thinking about death. What happens when we die? Nothing? Is there really no consciousness after death?
Even sleep feels like there is something alive about it. There is a sense of passage of time. But I was once put under general anaesthesia for surgery. And that really felt like nothing. Between going unconscious and regaining consciousness, there was no sense of time. It was instantaneous. I think that was the first inkling I had of what post-death might be (or, to be more accurate, not be).
Dark Souls has instilled in me the fear of immortality... what kind of slow and terrible degeneration would lie down that road?
I definitely don't believe in heaven or hell... I think humans are way too similar to animals, and the thought of those concepts existing for animals as well as humans is too absurd. There MAY be some possibility of our consciousness magically existing outside our body, but I'd need hard evidence of that before I start putting any real faith in it.
There are some rare evenings when these nihilistic thoughts just sit like a black hole in my stomach, consuming all happiness, all thought, all hope, radiating fear like darkness. (Not coincidentally, these evenings happen when I haven't eaten much protein or fibre during the day. Pancakes for breakfast is a terrible idea.)
Other days, I am more pragmatic: if the (non) existence after death is free of fear or pain, then there is no point worrying about it. I should reserve my energies for the life that I'll be living, instead of fretting over something that I can't ever control.
And finally, there are days when the “not knowing” fills me up with immeasurable hope. I think this is what Einstein (and maybe also Newton...?) were talking about – the fact that the afterlife is a total mystery means that it might just be something much more awesome than we can even imagine. Or it might not be. But the combination of “not knowing” and the capacity of humans to hope, makes it easier to deal with the certainty of mortality and the uncertainty of what lies after.
"Le vent se leve!...il faut tenter de vivre!" - Paul Valery
Of course, as a human, my thought extends beyond myself. I also worry about the death of the sun, the universe etc. But in the end, the best way to deal with all of it is to give up the idea of control, the illusion of control. “Everything that has a beginning, has an end. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” - The Buddha.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter much of a success or failure it is, the Nintendo Switch's life-cycle will eventually end. And none of us can predict when, why, or how. So it's best to give up the idea of control, of certainty.
We cannot predict these things. It's futile to try. But that's also exciting. Because “In uncertainty, find infinite possibility.” - Dragon Age 2, DLC item description.
Profundity and Felicia Day... what more could one ask for in a DLC?
Bottom line: Have a great Monday, y'all!