Every day I reflect. I reflect on what it means to be me; what it means to be a gamer; what it means to be a student; what it means to be black; what it means to be male, or an older brother, or a friend. I have the power to reflect on these identities because I have time to do so. Every day is a new opportunity to reevaluate and contemplate.
Videogames also incorporate moments of reflection, of pondering, starting anew, or continuing where one left off. I can always gain a new level in Overwatch because the work I put in was saved. That saved data does not get rewritten until I, the player, choose to continue my progress. It waits for me to finish what I started. It waits for me to continue to reach new objectives and learn more in order to progress in its virtual world.
Just like life, videogames are full of bewilderment. I can be a formidable opponent against a ferocious dragon, therefore earning the opportunity to slay the beast. I could be late for an exam, therefore I must work with the little time I have been given to complete it. Both required preparation and a mastery of tools I possessed to complete the objectives swiftly and efficiently. However, there is a big difference between playing a life in virtual space and living life in real space.
Life has no respawn.
There is no press button to pause life. There is only continue.
We as people get one chance. One time to live. It is a crime against humanity when someone decides to strip away that life, especially without justification, reason, cause, or merit.
Lt. Richard Collins III was stabbed and killed on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 3 a.m. near a bus stop on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park. Collins was at our campus preparing to graduate from Bowie State University that upcoming Tuesday.
To those of you who do not know, UMD is my alma mater. I did not know him personally, but his death has impacted me. From the location of where he was slain to the person currently in police custody, it makes me…reflect.
As a gamer, I am used to witnessing the simulation of death. Generally, I am then afforded the chance to begin anew, and continue my path; all I have to do is press “A” to continue from the last checkpoint. However, reality is not coded that way; there are no cheat codes for death or life, and there are no patch updates that fix the many wrongs in this world. The game of life is set of the hardest difficultly, that continuously generates new hurdles, obstacles, challenges, and enemies. Life is also a horribly imbalanced system. Too much to even list why it’s so cruel and unjust.
There is no respawn.
Death is a life experience that we confront daily – either by watching it on the television, seeing it on your timeline, or simply being at the wrong place at that time. For there is never a right time for death.
There is no respawn. Just one life. A life we should preserve as long as we can. Let us share our experience with others in hopes of conquering the bigger challenges in life as well. Even if one player falls, their ideas, hopes, and dreams should carry others forward.
Lt. Collins III Rest in Paradise. May your spirit influence others to continue playing and being brave and strategic in the game of life.