FreeCell, let's face it, has robbed me of countless hundreds of hours of my life; so in that sense, it's rendered my existence slightly less meaningful than it might have been otherwise. And I know many others have been caught in this same trap. Fear not, though. Luckily, Microsoft provided us, the paying public, with more than just a simple card game; FreeCell can be a metaphor for life, and the lessons it teaches us are timeless, if we would only listen.

Every* Game is Winnable: No matter the shitty hand you're dealt, no matter if the Kings and Queens of the world block your way, there *is* a way out. All you need is dedication, hard work, and a little luck. Everything will be alright, you'll see.

You can Fuck Up - To a Point: Let's face it, not every move we make is a smart one. Sometimes, there are no cards left to turn to; other times, you're just confused. FreeCell knows you're not perfect. That's why it gives you a chance - four of them - to find your way, take a breather, and figure things out. We all need a little help sometimes. But its love is not unlimited - four strikes is more than generous - and if you've used them all, well, TS.

Moving is always better than staying still: Sometimes there are no obvious moves; sometimes, the bottoms of every column are in the red. Still, staring at the screen ad infinitum won't help your cause; take a blind leap of faith, and go with it. Movement is always better than inertia.

You can mess up, but if you leave, you always lose: It doesn't care about your excuses for leaving the game. Maybe your boss called. Maybe your girlfriend. Maybe Ed McMahon is standing outside your door with a 2' x 4' prop cheque. It doesn't matter. You leave the game, you lose. Period.

Cards of different colours belong together: Racial homogeneity will not work in the FreeCell world. You'd better be prepared to deal with cards of different colours; it'll be a long, bitter game otherwise.

There will be fireworks if you succeed: OK maybe this is a bit of a stretch. But it's nice to imagine...

Of course, it also points out some of life's downsides. Like any corporately produced diversion, the real message is that there are many ways to win, but success always looks the same. You can be youself - to a point - but in the end, you'd better line up like everyone else, or lose. And unlimited undo would be *so* useful in a pinch - some twisted metaphor for the elusive Fountain of Youth? Who knows. I guess the ultimate message is, in life, all the cards are laid out for us to see, if only we'd look; how we arrange them is up to us.

* save for 11,982 in the Windows95 edition

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.