I’m not sure if other people experience the same thing, but every so often I find myself watching my thought processes take place — almost like I’ve taken a step back and I can see what’s going on in there as my brain putters along doing whatever it is it does. Whenever this happens, I realize that there’s whole bunch of things going on in there at once — like multiple channels are continuously playing & processing completely different things at the same time, all the time.
One channel might be just playing the same stupid earworm song over and over again; another might be processing some diagram or object I was looking at a day or two ago, figuring out how it works or how to take it apart; another might be just processing a problem I’ve been thinking about — sort of working on it while my monkey brain is off skimming feeds or playing a game.
I notice that there’s always a channel that is devoted to just flipping through images from memory. Sort of constantly rifling through a massive photo album of things I’ve seen throughout my life in seemingly random order.
More and more frequently I’ve noticed that this memory album contains images from virtual worlds from games I’ve played. The rock-strewn path leading up to the witches crag in Skyrim; a deep forest full of Diamond Golems in Dereth; the dim path between camps in Mirkwood; the weird and annoying emptiness around the Thousand Needles in WoW; a (completely random) hill in Asheron’s Call 2; a forest full of brigands in some game that I otherwise can’t recall (maybe Guildwars?); an all-but-empty player village in Horizons; running between desolate zones in Anarchy Online, etc.
It seems like sort of a strange thing that these are just intermixed with other memories of real places and things, and that these virtual world memories end up in that unending slideshow in that backchannel of my brain. I wonder what sort of impact this will have in the longer term.