A cosmic whirlpool of man-made quasi-randomness and universal laws of probability, to which the former is intrinsically linked to, gushing out the result of modern Man’s hopes and dreams, the reaction to one’s action. Gambling. Taking a shot. Initiating the process to which the outcome – something seemingly unnecessary on a basic, human level of needs and desires, but altogether simple to explain on a microscopic scale of the evolutionary carrot-and-stick mechanism embedded in our physiology – can lead to however transient and minute, true, palpable feeling of happiness. It is why Man finds it so effortless to become engulfed in that wild, dangerous chase for endogenous endorphins, and consequently, to spin out of control. That also presents an explanation for why playing the game of odds with universe has been Man’s companion since the dawn of civilization. Our minds and bodies (which are becoming increasingly difficult to separate owing to the wonders of science), as well as everything around us, is either drawn by that fundamentally simple nature’s law of striving toward something, whether that be a different molecule, food, water, a companion or a more abstract object of lust, or destined to a slow (or rapid) decay. To question the needs rooted in this is to question the point of doing anything in life since the reasons behind everything can always be reduced to some basic molecular attraction, made more complex by eons of reactions set in motion by…well, that part remains to be discovered. What is really left to debate is the issue of which need to focus on so as to use the time we have been given as sentient organisms in the most optimal way – and it has been more or less agreed that the growing of our intellect should supersede our primal urges, and that a balance between the two is the recommended path which humanity ought to take.
This modern age of loneliness, but also of tolerance, and of rapid expansion of Man’s knowledge and wisdom, blurs the line between what can be considered a quasi-need and a worthy pursuit. When Man, for the most part, is getting rid of the heavy burden of survival and is being left with a clear path for prosperity of the mind, an entirely different light is cast on the notions of what is right or wrong, real or unreal. A trip to unseen lands can lead to sensations, perspective and understanding unparalleled by anything a person has experienced in his lifetime hitherto. However, an addicting substance with no nutritional value, easily developed tolerance and the potential to render one a slave to its dopamine-regulated mental trap of steadily decreasing enjoyable effects would not be considered the most wise use of the vast potential one’s life offers. To have the passage to other vistas and sensations (physical or those more ethereal) barred from within is to succumb to the notion of unimportance of a sentient existence, however confined and powerless it might seem when lulled by the illusion of continuity provided by the society and its expectations. A certain dose of alienation to the already familiar joys of life might be welcome in revealing their true value, the miraculous odds which have led to their fruition in this harsh universe powered by entropy.
Pazudora, a game whose inner workings bear a striking resemblance to those of the human society in which we’ve learned to play our roles most dutifully, lest we were to be left stranded on the shores of the truly ruthless natural order outside of the comfort of the cities, and apartments, and beds and chairs that we’ve come to build as a species – a resemblance rooted in the free-to-play model worked out to perfection, offering each a chance to achieve everything that can be achieved. A chance that can be increased with effort, time, passion, ingenuity, knowledge, resources, and the randomly distributed blessing of rolling a stupendous monster or being born in a rich family or a highly developed country which enables you to IAP freely.
I have been fortunate enough to receive some of those blessings over where others I have not, and to learn and start playing this wondrous game against all odds; having lived in neither Japan or US and despite not having been in the area of influence of GungHo’s marketing.
To experience the feeling of rolling a super rare gacha God is akin to getting riches in life that aren’t easily acquired, but which are desired by many. The confluence of hope and incredibly low probability coming to pass, something so few find among the billions living humans, each and every one a central existence in the universe from his perspective.
Mixed feelings of pride, undistilled happiness, a drop of growing arrogance for having something others do not and of excitement, all arising from the surge of adrenaline, endorphin and serotonin rush.
Pazudora is a world of its own, and what makes it so real and “addicting” is that it reflects the way our own world outside of the game works so well. It is necessary to find balance in both for us mortals or we risk losing everything, including our faith in whichever game we are currently playing and the drive to play it. Pazudora can grant one knowledge and perspective on what it is like to want, lose, and gain something but also, about what follows those feelings commonly associated with and described as “happiness” for reaching our goals or succeeding in obtaining something.
I will always strive to create my own goals, distill happiness from otherwise indistinct occurrences, and to keep in mind the carrot-and-stick mechanism that all games, and organisms, operate on. For all its addictiveness, I find that Pazudora helps me with that, so long as I put in the effort to maintain true free will. And through gaining the understanding of that part of life, I become more and more able to delve inside the more intricate and remarkable parts of the human psyche and life.