Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Life Lessons I Learned from Gaming

Look before you leap.
Whether due wonky camera angles or your own stupidity, you can't be a gamer without falling in a few bottomless pits. But that doesn't mean you can't take some precautions. The best precaution you can take in situations like this is to actually watch where you're freaking going. In most cases you won't have to worry about lava, spikes, and bottomless pits in real life (it could happen though!), but you could at least stop texting while walking to avoid falling into the fountain at the mall. Also, be sure to carefully judge whether you can survive the fall damage when jumping off of cliffs and buildings. The same logic applies, of course, to major life changing decisions. I don't care how traditional your upbringing is, it's probably a good idea to at least look at your future spouse before you leap into marriage.

Hoard everything.
I don't know what a Bacchus is, but I'm afraid to use it or sell it. (Source)
Who knew that piddly stick from the beginning of the game would turn into the ultimate weapon? Or that those consumable attack items I never use would actually be the next boss's weakness, or that there was only one of those TMs in Pokemon and I just wasted it on a Dunsparce? Well the internet knew, but I didn't think or care enough to check ahead of time. That's why I've learned to just hoard as many items as I can carry in my inventory, never using or selling anything, until at last I finish the game without ever using half of the stuff because of my stinginess. ...On second thought, maybe this lesson should be about using things when the opportunity presents itself. Nah, it's much safer just to hoard it.

For a real life example, I only need to recall how I sold my NES, Virtual Boy, and several of my best N64 games as a kid. Woe was me, filled with regret. I've since had to purchase another NES and Virtual Boy to fill that void in my life. Then there's all the digital hoarding taking place on my computer. I know I haven't listened to this music since my friend gave it to me three years ago, but maybe I'll want to one of these days, you know?

Jack of all trades, master of none.
I have no idea if these stats are good or not.
If I learned anything from my time playing MMOs, it's that if your character doesn't specialize in something, it's going to be useless once you get to the level cap. Going on a high level raid, your comrades are going to want a dedicated healer, buffer, tank, or character designed for high DPS, not someone who tries to do all those things and does a crappy job of it.

What does this mean for real life? It means I freaking hate general education requirements in college. What the heck does the history of western civilization have to do with computer science anyway? It has to do with making you pay twice as much in time and money for a bundle deal of mostly useless classes, that's what. Screw you, average university. Trade schools are where it's at (probably, maybe, I don't actually know, don't take advice from a gaming blog).

Beasts are most dangerous when cornered.
So maybe the lesser enemies are all too willing to impale themselves upon your sword, but when it comes to bosses, they always seem to get stronger when they realize they're in a tough spot. I always thought this was counter intuitive. Shouldn't it be weaker now that's it's injured or use its strongest attacks from the beginning? Nope, that's not how it works. Bosses (in games and real life) freak the heck out when you start killing them and that freaking out gives them power.

I wasn't sure whether this carried over to real life or not, but one day, having been inspired by the many reality TV shows about pest control and hillbillies wrangling animals, I decided to make it my goal to catch all of the world's raccoons and found out for sure. It turns out that raccoons actually transform into super saiyans and shoot laser beams when cornered. Who knew!

When you get a TNT crate on your head, start hopping immediately.
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