I have a love/hate relationship with video games. On the one hand, I love the immersion and the visual grandeur of games like Skyrim and the exploration and problem-solving in games like Tombraider. On the other hand, at some point I always feel a little let down by the experience.

It’s like Vegas. The first time I cruised the Las Vegas Strip, I almost wrecked my car. I was consumed by the spectacle of it all. Pirates battling it out on the sidewalk! Roman sentries! Every block promised excitement and color and surprise!

I climbed out of my car eager to be enticed, but the spectacle was all show. On the other side, there were just rows upon rows of slot machines and flu-inducing AC. It didn’t look all that different from a cubicle farm in a corporate office.

Likewise, I’ll become engrossed in the alternate world of a game, but at some point, I think: wouldn’t it be nice if I knew how to make a restorative mushroom stew IRL? wouldn’t it be cool if these hundreds of hours of jumping from one building to another translated into actual parkour skills?

Then I get a little irritated with myself because – despite all of its problems – I enjoy the real world. I’d like to be better at navigating it – IRL. And while I definitely gain some applicable insights playing games, I’d gain a lot more if I got out and learned how to make IRL mushroom stew or how to survive an IRL wilderness.

Maybe that’s why I decided that the sailor’s life was for me. It’s not an easy life. There’s a lot to learn in order to survive and thrive. That makes it an ideal way to earn Real World XP, which is bound to improve my IRL Game.




About the Author:

Autumn Ware is an author and swashbuckler aboard the Sea Shanti, a 1974 Cooper Seabird sailboat she shares with her husband, her teenage son, one dog, and a cat. She's also the Big Chief Copywriter at Aware Copywriting.


  1. Hannah March 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    This summer I plan to grow at least some of the food hubby and I typically purchase from the Big Box grocery stores. It will be a complete failure, of that I’m sure, but the lessons I learn from this year’s growing season will give me the IRL points I need to make next year’s growing season a slightly greater success.

    • Autumn March 14, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Totally! It’s Farmville IRL! We’re not growing food (yet – Jack said I couldn’t start growing anything on the boat until the boat’s topside was finished, which is fair), but I’ve started really focusing on preparing foods from basic, non-perishable ingredients that we can stow on the Shanti, like beans, broths, etc. and, of course, fish. I caught my first catfish last week, and did not barf when we gutted it. Serious IRL XP!

Leave A Comment