With the impending release of the sequel to Final Fantasy 13 on the way, and having seen the demo on the PS3 network, it occurred to me how this company Square Enix is worth noting along with the FF paradigm!
I love the story of Square and the way that the Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi was basically on the verge of calling the video gaming venture quits when he released Final Fantasy. FF was his last ditch effort at making something of himself in the gaming industry. The company Square Enix was happy to try the game as a last ditch effort of their own as the institution faced bankruptcy.
Well, 13 games later with sequels, a movie, affiliated franchise stuffs, massive appeal and notoriety, Final Fantasy lives on with 13 installments of this popular title to date! Sakaguchi has also made his rounds in the gaming world with executive status in Square, Nintendo and over-seeing the design and execution of Final Fantasy 1-5, Kingdom Hearts, and many others since that first fateful day back in 1987. Without getting into the nuances of Sakaguchi’s career or personal life and the adventures of Square through the gaming world, this is an incredible and thrilling story!
From a yogic perspective, the story titillates because:
- Dharma. There is one undeniably impressive quality to Sakaguchi and Square’s adventure which is truly that when you have a purpose and you align with that purpose and bring into the world the expression of that purpose, there is no stopping you. Just as the Bhagavad Gita so beautifully weaves through the story of Arjuna and his destiny as a renowned warrior, so this same gamer dharma plays out with Final Fantasy and the team of creators… Which is awesome!
- Satya. Satya is Sanskrit for Truth. When you speak your truth, when you are truthful, when you are acting in alignment with what you know in your heart is right and following this honestly from the heart, you will always succeed where you need to. The title of the game series itself speaks to this truth: the final fantasy of someone living their dream by creating what they feel is the ultimate video game (and it was). Speak your truth and others will resonate with your words.
- Trust. Grace. It is so beautiful that this ultimate faith in yourself and your abilities lets you pursue your dreams, honestly create what resides within your deepest visions, take a step back to trust and open to grace so you can clearly see your purpose– your dharma. You can detach from the fruits of your labors and witness the unfolding of your purpose. And the ultimate trust that if you’re meant to be here, something good will come to help you. Sometimes you must just trust that grace will come through if you’re on the right path. Beautiful!
- Sat Bhavana. See it, do it, live it. Positive Visualization does wonders for grasping and articulating the nuances of your desires. If Sakaguchi did not visualize this final fantasy playing out with the component parts of other games that were successful, classic, and awesome, then there would be no way for him to see the ultimate product of his untold story (game, if you must). You must create every aspect and you can’t be general in your creation because you will quickly lose the vision! You must detail the outfits, the personalities, the hair color, eye color, race, height, weights, story line, bosses, style of game (RPG, MMORPG, etc), what buttons do what, amongst a trillion other details. This game is so detailed that there is only room for making it happen.
This game is has the capacity to show you how to approach life in a more nuanced way. It’s also a perfect example of how successful habits, vision, and the right paradigm can be woven together to create something impressive and influential in its scope. Really, games are great for modelling your mind!
Sure, an over-arching statement like “games are great” doesn’t exactly explain the current fascination with the Fantasy in particular. It’s all about the details of the gameplay: you shift paradigms. While you are fighting the “bosses” (kind of anti-authority ain’t it?) your failure to shift paradigms will cause you to die. If you are going to get crushed by the mighty hand of a creature, you paradigm shift to defensive mode so you can adequately prepare your team for the impending attack for example. This is brilliant in the sense that the experience of life and all its challenges is nothing more than a series of paradigm shifts to your ultimate benefit.
Thinking of life in this way cultivates an insightful approach to challenges. Isn’t it always hashed back at the unhappy person that “life is what you make it” and if you can’t change your circumstances, change your attitude? Platitudes are fine and good except they don’t necessarily shift your paradigm. You must choose the mode to continue in (defensive, offensive, etc) so you can find the best solution to each challenge as it arises. Perhaps such an approach doesn’t make for epic gameplay– that’s for the individual to decide– it does show that there is more than one mindset and approach to level up in life.
These days, these corrupted politics, global uncertainty and chaos, shifting paradigms is something that needs to happen! Clearly the system is no longer working otherwise people wouldn’t be suffering the way they are. With obesity on the rise, cancer on the rise, global weather patterns going haywire, resource scarcity rising, the cost of living rising, the abundance of work falling, and food scarcity rising, the current paradigm is failing. The world is more than due for a paradigm shift otherwise, just like in a simply programmed RPG like Final Fantasy, your inability to think outside the box will cause your demise. Whatever your level of agreement with the different organizations rising up against the current failing paradigm, thought patterns are shifting with movements like Occupy Wall Street and People for Social Sustainability, Anonymous and countless others.
Though you may align yourself for or against these views, you aren’t off the hook with your own brain and world view. In this time of economic disparity and strife, shift your own paradigm from a place of scarcity where you feel you have nothing (maybe you say you have nothing too!) to a place of abundance where you know you can spare extra! Shift your paradigm from undeserving to deserving. Now more than ever it is time to claim the mindset that we’re worthy in the face of so many willing to take what is rightfully ours and force us to smile as they do it. It’s not that you can’t, it’s that you haven’t allowed yourself to do it. It’s not that it’s silly, it’s that you haven’t taken time to see it’s smart. It’s not that life doesn’t work that way, it’s that you’ve never allowed it to work that way.
This paradigm shift is such a powerful tool that will allow you to continue slaying your own personal demons and “bosses” as you move through life each level at a time. 🙂 As you practice this mentality of shifting paradigms to overcome challenges, you’ll begin to see how easy and effective it is to shift your attitude and change your outcome. Why else would a game as successful and well received as Final Fantasy use varied models of the paradigm shift if it didn’t make sense and mirror aspects of real life?
It may seem like there’s no reason to shift your world view when life is a series of disappointing pay checks and no free time. So you change your mind, what then? Lest we ever forget what a great positive visualization looks like, pick up any video game (especially the classic ones like Mario Bros., Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat…) and know that this single game took such a detailed plan of action that it is almost impossible not to succeed. There is no the character is friendly! You say, this character uses only shields and the corresponding button is X but you can twirl the shield and make it release a firebomb when you combo X-Y-R1-R2-X. It is insane how much thought and action goes into making games a reality! The fact that games come out as often and as regularly as they do is amazing and truthfully somewhat inspiring!
Someone sat there and oversaw an entire process with many people involved on all sorts of levels on every aspect of this product. There’s someone that scans the movements of people so they can make the characters move well. There’s someone that hires the models to scan. There’s someone that posts the ad on Craigslist or recruits some willing candidates. There’s the people that computer generate the graphics (increasingly more impressive as time goes on). The people writing the story, recording the voices of the characters, the voice actors of the characters, and so many more! Someone articulated this whole process and story and helped that come to fruition. This is the most detailed sat bhavana ever! And sat bhavana is the well executed plan of action for someone who has changed their mind about the way life should be.
So in your own life, create your video game. What do you want? Explain this like you are going to have someone create a video game from your description. You might not think you care what the voice of your main character sounds like until you hear a voice that sounds all wrong to you. So you must be specific and move past your hesitations at declaring your story, your game, and your process to see it all to fruition. This is all a video game is: a series of specifics put into one package. That is all a positive visualization is: a set of specifics put into one package.
So paradigm shift your life– it doesn’t have to be a final fantasy. It can be the beginning of something exciting, new, and long-lasting– the beginning of living your own fantasy life. If nothing else, this game should teach you that there is no such thing as a Final Fantasy when you align your mind with your own dreams and truth.
The world is your playground so go play!