Sunday Firesides: The Last Great Adventure

The survival game genre is a love-hate relationship. Some players are hooked on the thrill of fighting to stay alive, while others find it repetitive and uneventful. This begs the question: What makes a great survival game?

Vintage watch.

Only thirty years ago, the only images of trip places might be found in brochures or books borrowed from the library. You could never be sure what type of hotel you’d booked or what kind of restaurant experience you’d have without the help of review sites.

There were still a few “firsts” for the most adventurous of explorers to find only a century ago. This is the first time I’ve ever charted an Amazonian river. This is the first time I’ve been to the South Pole.

Today, you may use Google Maps to look at a location before going there. TripAdvisor will tell you all you need to know about your accommodations.

There are hardly no “firsts” left to overcome. Instead, would-be explorers have modified well-worn paths, such as becoming the first to paddle a river in a record time or reach the North Pole without assistance.

Travel has its allure, and discovering fresh variants on old excursions is still more respectable than sitting at home. However, “the genuine spirit of romance and adventure,” as Jack London put it, has virtually died out.

Except for one thing: the pursuit of a meaningful existence.

While this research does not cross any physical boundaries, it is still a voyage. One in which the landscape encountered will be unfamiliar. While there are dangers in taking a wrong route, GPS will not be able to save you if you get lost. “Who am I?” answers, for example. “Why am I here?” and “What is the happy life?” are not questions that can be answered with a Google search. There are no unambiguous sign posts directing the way in our atomistic world.

No one has ever walked the precise path you’ll follow, nor has anybody ever set foot on the peaks and valleys you’ll pass through.

The person who unfolds the map of meaning, who maps a path to importance, is about to embark on the world’s final big adventure.



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