Everyone has that one friend who is better than them at something. They might be smarter than you, more athletic or just better at being handy but when it comes to computer games, that person is me. Between years of gaming experience and the methodical way my brain processes information I am able to systematically break down all of the information related to a game, understand the way it works and get pretty fucking good at it almost instantly but, like any chemist will tell you, there is always an exception to the rule.
I do have a few gamer friends who, like me, seem to instantly understand the mechanics behind each game and progress along quickly but my friend Chris will almost certainly never be a pro gamer. He dabbles in games here and there, he played World of Warcraft and by all accounts got very good at it however. when it comes to Bejeweled, the man is a fiend. A true high score terror.
Now, I love Bejeweled but I’ll be damned if i can work out how to be good at that game. It is the exception to my rule. Week after week, month after month I see my non-gaming Facebook friends get scores doubling, tripling or, in the case of my friend Chris, managing to get a score ten times higher than the best I can manage.
Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces illustrates how in the first act of any good saga, our hero will being the first leg of their journey with a major triumph over their adversary. In the second act, which we explored just a moment ago, the protagonist will fall from grace into a seemingly hopeless position. Star Wars, The Dark Knight trilogy and The Matrix are all classic examples of this tried and true formula that provides the backbone of any compelling story but fortunately for us, we are about to begin our third act; the redemption.
In a moment of zen curled on my meditation cushion with iPad in hand, I was trying to hit a high score for what what must have been the ten billionth time when a flash of insight and inspiration hit me like a lightning bolt to draw my hands across the screen faster than ever before. 100,000. 200,000. Six digit scores came game after game after game when previously I have struggled to consistently hit 80,000.
The trick is to take what you can get. Match jewels as quickly as possible and use small incremental gains and large multipliers to boost your score rather than relying on a big five match or chain and in that moment of experience, that moment of insight, I gained an insight and understanding that I was immediately able to apply to every aspect of my life.
Sometimes, you’re better off doing the wrong thing quickly than the right thing slowly.
P.S. Chris still absolutely destroys me on the scoreboards. Bastard.
Blue meditates the meaning of life through video games and would like you to play Bastion. For other insights into life through video games, or just random blocks of wordsm follow him on Twitter.