Throwing Fireballs and Conquering Dragons


My friend worked for a company that created a video game which he loved to play. Despite spending all day with the game, he had little time to actually play it rather than work on it.

When he did find time to play, his character in the game was a beginner, starting from the basics, no fireballs. And unless he was suddenly laid off from work or won the lottery and had abundant time to play, his character would always be a beginner. He wanted the high-level superpowers.

With behind the game access, he granted his character level 99 skill. After a few lines of altered code and a few minutes of work, he had superpowers which typically take players years to achieve. Now the game would be fun!

Real Superpower

He logs into his account to play. I imagine what appears to be a tiny character on the computer screen but comparatively he is as big as the houses. Standing next to other characters, he’s double their size. I imagine him flying to a village where he sees a party of characters, other players, who struggle to slay a dragon. He watches with a smile on his face, knowing with a few keystrokes he could do it all himself. And so he shows it off, throwing magic fireballs and slaying the dragon.

But my friend learned he didn’t enjoy this. This power wasn’t earned. He said he only started to enjoy playing when he helped others succeed in the game. While helping he threw the same magic fireballs and yet they felt different.

Instead of the hero in his own story, he became the hero in someone else’s story.