Creep or Tower?

On June 14, 2011, in Articles of Awesomeness, by Emily

Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Gemcraft Labyrinth, a tower defense game brought to us by Armor Games. Tower defense games have this simple premise – use lots of cool weaponry to prevent the baddies from getting through your defenses to something valuable. In this case, you’re making towers to protect your magic orb from the baddies.

In the past, I’ve talked about tower defense games and how they relate to awesomeness, but I wanted to talk about it some more. There’s great comfort in being a creep. Seriously. It’s soothing to have a path laid out before us. Yeah, it’s filled with fiery deathstorms, but if we’re truly determined about it and we’re strong enough, we can make it through to get to the waiting gems. Creeps show an admirable single-minded purpose to get to their goals.

For those who are champions in the fight against mediocrity, it’s not that simple. Mediocre chooses to follow the same heavily trodden path. Mediocre doesn’t explore to find new methods to get around the barrier. Mediocre doesn’t launch a guerilla campaign against the set towers to remove the obstacles. The awesome seek the most efficient path to the goal, one that is intensely more satisfying than the mediocre’s path. And, since the champions don’t know how it’s going to work, there’s fear to overcome, experience points to be won, and courage to be had. The mediocre are content with standing still, the awesome pursue excellence.

And you know what? It’s scary as hell to be responsible for finding your own path. There’s a lot of people who would rather let someone else choose their destiny, and people who find contentment and security in being absolutely sure what the next day will bring. Being afraid of change? Hell yeah. Changing means learning the rules AGAIN. Changing means that there’s new people to learn, and new things to be done. Changing means there’s the potential for failure, that the towers will just find you even more tasty to blow up. The mediocre let that happen, the awesome fight against it.

Have you taken the time to decide your purpose? Have you taken the time to figure out the path that you’re going to follow? Are you prepared to do work to get to that purpose, or are you content to follow the crowd and go through the evil that you know? Our lives are a mixture of crafting games and tower defense games. Which side are you on?