I believe we have an inherent drive, a purpose. Any purpose.
A purpose needs a game. A game needs a purpose.
Without barriers, there is no drive and without a drive there is no life.
When we fulfill purposes, we create new purposes to achieve. As we realize purposes, our life becomes more accomplished, more perfected. And comfort sets in.
Johnny wants to become a physician, have a luxurious home, a great marriage and two wonderful kids. He goes through years of education, dates girls, becomes a doctor and marries Miss Right. They get two lovely kids. He’s a wonderful father and they adore him. They live in a fantastic house and life is full of comfort. Now what?
With more perfection and comfort, less purposes and excitement remains. There is freedom with less barriers and adventure, less drive and direction. There is less to live for. At that point a person can slumber in apathy or revolt by creating less positive adventures – like self-inflicted pains, drugs or criminality. Johnny starts drinking and beats Miss Right left and right. He gambles and loses the house.
What happens with individuals have parallels in societies and the World at large.
We see the dangers of comfort in our decadent Western world much like the Romans experienced in their conquered world. As our world grows less dangerous and comfort and freedom sets in, we will create new dangers to topple, or we can slide into apathy to have dangers mounting while we slumber. With less wars, population growth tapering off and with criminality rates going down, we may have to rely on global warming or artificial intelligence to keep us busy. Because perfecting society with security to iron out any possibility of terrorism will only create more comfort and less life.
Maybe the need for adventure is why we don’t see any advance alien civilizations. Maybe they bored themselves into apathy or did some crazy shit as a counter-reaction to the increasing comfort and lull.
If you can look past the terrible special effects and the cute retro scenery, this episode of Space 1999 captures the dangers of comfort in a neat way:
What should we do to have a decent game to come back to?