Checkmate. Stock image from Google Images.

Permission is granted to reprint the following article as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright information, and the resource box is included. Please let me know if you use this article by sending an email to


Copyright © January 28, 2017 Douglas W. Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

Caveat: I am not advocating drug use or mind expanding techniques in what I am about to discuss. I am just sharing the history of an idea.

When I was seventeen I was frequently using LSD. One experience I had has continued to influence my thought processes to this day. I saw myself standing outside a friend's house and needing to manipulate the pattern of it in order to gain access. It was like something out of the Matrix or Minority Report movies. This was a few years before the first Star Wars movie came out. I had never even heard of holographic projection. Virtual Reality touch screens were beyond the pale.

There I was, suddenly realizing that I could manipulate the visual interface in front of me in order to gain access to this world beyond the wall. And I realized that this was a game like Chess. If I moved the pawns properly, the wall would open and I would access the next level.

I knew this was my friend's home, and that I could enter it if I wished, because I was already his friend. The experience was not about the actual; it was about the potential.

(LSD never was a separate reality for me or even for 98% of the people who experimented with it. Only those few who were already psychically disabled and used the drug ever confused the boundaries between reality and fantasy. When Ken Kesey was asked how he could chauffeur the Grateful Dead while he was tripping he said he just drove through the hallucinations. That is a scary thought when we consider the possible use of the drug by persons who maintain an already fractured version of reality!)

It was the potential element that energized my thinking. I was in a game; a virtual reality game forty years before VR gaming was even considered an actuality. As far as I was concerned, not being well read in sci-fi, VR did not exist. Before VR experiences ever had a name, as far as I was aware of, I was experiencing it firsthand through the use of the drug.

As I stood before that wall I "realized" that all the advancements in history began as games; as creatively interesting play-things entertaining the minds of their pursuers. They were developed as toys in the imagination of their inventors, and eventually moved beyond the playground and became practical; they became useful beyond the game. They became a new technological advancement.

The game attempt to access the next level was the technological equivalent to harnessing the next practical scientific advancement. Our creative play leads to our future utility.

Here is the thing that stuck with me: Technology begins with creativity. Technology always grows out of our pursuit of the game because being human is always about finding new ways to beat the statistics; to move beyond the present and create the next future. We are always in pursuit of the next highest score.

The entertainment derived from learning new things always leads to the development of new technology. Humanity is always in pursuit of the next highest score in the game of life. But the game of life, whether we realize it or not, never is just about the game. It is always about the practical advancement to the future.

The Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland was wrong when she said "I have to run as fast as I can to stay in one place." In reality, it was the ingenuity of her opponent's pawns that checkmated her king. Apparently, they had the greater vision.



Doug Jerving is the publisher of the You may contact him at


Return to The New Edison Gazette main site.