Big Cities and Apartment Life: NPC and a world within 4 walls

June 23rd, 2023

Big cities strip away any connection with others. Only those you deem apart of your ingroup aren shown any humanity, the rest are NPCs in the game of life

Going to the supermarkets, the same generic lines are always uttered. Hello, good morning, how are you. And the typical response back, Hi, good thanks. In a big city, everyone is like an NPC, most times, the shopkeepers have the repeated quest line. Where you could chart out your entire day going from NPC dialogue to another. Anything that falls out of them is unexpected and not the norm. Like when someone, who was not the staff, said hello to me whilst getting a coffee.

  Such a mindset is necessary in a big city. It’s not possible to have whole hearted interactions with everyone. Hundreds of people pass by you just walking down a main street. The population density naturally speeds up everyone’s walking speed, and also their impatience. Everyone wants something from someone else, and anything that doesn’t fall into those categories is a waste of time. If being productive with work is your goal, then that’s great, otherwise it becomes a lonely lonely world. Everyone around you is nothing more than an NPC, a forgettable existence that means nothing. It’s no different from being totally alone.

  Within the 4 walls of an apartment, nothing else outside matters. Even though there’s several people living nearby, on the same level, and even more on each level, it’s like they don’t exist. A Japanese documentary talked about living alone in Japan, where a father lived within his apartment and his daughter visited occasionally. Except, this time, when she visited, she found her father dead. He died of old age. But, not a single neighbour knew, despite living only a few meters away, despite them passing by his apartment every day. Within those 4 walls, everyone lives their own universe and anything around them might as well not exist.

  Is this good or bad? Big cities, where everything happens, with social events, business and high pay. The only price you need to pay is your soul. Either adapt, enjoy the life filled with NPCs and strangers, where the only “real” people are workmates, existing friends, or people you meet when trying to be social. If you worked remotely, lived alone and was introverted, then a city has everyone, yet not a single soul for you. Connections only happen if you put in the effort to make them, there is no spontaneous meetups, or regularly seeing a person, big cities are too large for that. Or be totally alone, where the only person to converse with is yourself. Where the only words uttered each day is hello, how are you, to a shop keeper NPC.

Welcome to a big city my friend. Welcome to apartment life.