The Forest Game

      Mitchell Bryan
The Forest Game

When a new video game takes the world by storm, a new player is profoundly moved by the beauty and wonder that the game holds. But under the breathtaking exterior is a dark secret that threatens the sanity and lives of the players.In developed countries, social cohesion has been sacrificed on the altar of individual gratification. Individuals wanted more and better. Inventors and entrepreneurs rallied to serve our desires. We progressed – pulled along by our hunger for improvement. This strategy worked well for centuries. Survival rates benefitted more from technological advances than from recognising individual social contributions. But the paths of ‘what we want in the short term’ and ‘what is good for us in the long term’ diverged. As we moved forwards, we increasingly abandoned non-commercial activities – regardless of their contribution to social wellbeing.We’ve now reached point where the benefits of technological advances are becoming outweighed by the disadvantages. New consumer inventions make us less active. Improved food production is turning us fat. Social media is stopping us socialising. Even medical advances will become less important to the majority – focusing, quite rightly, on a shrinking minority of ill people or providing more years of relative infirmity for the very old.The wellbeing of the majority during the majority of their lives can now be improved more by positive social interaction than by technological advances. To do this, we need to amend our reward system. We need to provide additional motivation for carrying out beneficial social activity. Although many already help others altruistically, there’s no moral reason why they shouldn’t receive further tangible rewards. And tangible rewards might encourage even more people to help one another. This would deliver additional social benefits – thereby improving general wellbeing.
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    Eryx - A Phoenix Rising Short Story: The Gatekeepers Series

      Mitchell Bryan
Eryx - A Phoenix Rising Short Story: The Gatekeepers Series

Eryx is just trying to do his job when something happens that will change his life forever. The Dark is an elusive and tempting choice. This story is under 5000 words.In developed countries, social cohesion has been sacrificed on the altar of individual gratification. Individuals wanted more and better. Inventors and entrepreneurs rallied to serve our desires. We progressed – pulled along by our hunger for improvement. This strategy worked well for centuries. Survival rates benefitted more from technological advances than from recognising individual social contributions. But the paths of ‘what we want in the short term’ and ‘what is good for us in the long term’ diverged. As we moved forwards, we increasingly abandoned non-commercial activities – regardless of their contribution to social wellbeing.We’ve now reached point where the benefits of technological advances are becoming outweighed by the disadvantages. New consumer inventions make us less active. Improved food production is turning us fat. Social media is stopping us socialising. Even medical advances will become less important to the majority – focusing, quite rightly, on a shrinking minority of ill people or providing more years of relative infirmity for the very old.The wellbeing of the majority during the majority of their lives can now be improved more by positive social interaction than by technological advances. To do this, we need to amend our reward system. We need to provide additional motivation for carrying out beneficial social activity. Although many already help others altruistically, there’s no moral reason why they shouldn’t receive further tangible rewards. And tangible rewards might encourage even more people to help one another. This would deliver additional social benefits – thereby improving general wellbeing.
Read online