Player’s Handbook

The Roleplaying Game

A roleplaying game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.


You’re playing within the roleplaying game called Life right now but you’re probably not aware of it because you’re so immersed within it.

Only when we are challenged by life and get knocked out of it, getting a chance to gain a greater perspective from outside of it, do we begin to become aware of the game that we’re playing within.

This is what happened to Paul Slakey, as he described to the authors of the book Everything Connects, when he recounted his life being turned upside down back in 2001 after losing his CEO job. At the time, he couldn’t figure out who he was anymore without his professional identity. But after some time reflecting, journalling, and meditation, he gained a bigger picture and perspective of life, realizing that his happiness and success didn’t need to be so dependent upon the professional role he was playing.

I came to see that my job was just a role that I was playing—an important role, of course, but not what defined who I am.

Paul Slakey

What Paul experienced is completely normal. In effect, as we grow and develop throughout out lives, the role we play within the game of Life will transform and change. While this is more evident as we grow up from child to teenager and to an adult, with society supporting us in making each of these role shifts, these transitions don’t end once we reach adulthood but can continue throughout our entire lives. The primary difference though is that these latter role transformations beyond adulthood often aren’t supported by society because the paradoxical nature of them can be seen as a direct threat to the status quo and stability of society itself.

For many of us, we’re going through the same thing today that Paul experienced back in 2001. We’re living within a pandemic that has challenged us on a global scale but has also given us the time to stop and reflect upon our lives, giving us a greater perspective of it from the outside of it.

In having done so though, some of us have now begun questioning the roles and rules of the game we’ve been playing which we’ve been told we need to continue to follow, if we want to continue to be “successful” within it.

But successful in what sense? For a lot of people, work has gone beyond feeling like it’s no longer working for them to feeling like it’s actually working against them, as it’s seriously affecting their mental health and well-being due to burnout and toxic work environments.

For many, they’re tired of being told what to do and not having a say in the rules of the game they’re playing.

We need a newer game. One that benefits everyone, rather than just a select few.

We don’t see reality. We see a mental map of reality called a worldview.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash