The Tweets
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Entries in Video Games (1)

Wednesday
May302012

Now if only saving the Princess were this easy!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I will attempt to discuss applying video game logic to real world situations without losing whatever credibility I may have.

Neat trick, if I can pull it off, no?

After a long hiatus of specifically scheduled physical activity, I've decided to get into the running game. It's only my second week and already I've learned quite a few things. I've already touched on the whole goal within a goal issue that I have, so I'm going to focus on how I've learned to enjoy my new activity using my experiences playing video games.

I have an app (of course I do) that tracks each of my runs for distance, time, pace, location et cetera. The great thing about it is that it is much easier to track my progress and improvement from run to run; week to week. That is also the worst thing about it. If I happen to have a bad day, or don't beat my best time--or even my average time--that little voice inside of me starts talking about what a failure I am. Logically I know that this is ridiculous, but we all know how that little voice can get inside your head... because he/she is already there.

So if real world logic doesn't work, where is a poor nerd to turn? Why, to video games of course! I've started thinking of each of these records that my app keeps track of as high score leaderboards. Of course the ultimate goal is to get the new #1 score for each mode/level, but who can honestly say that every time they pick up a controller, they beat their own high score (let alone someone else's that rests mockingly above your personal best)?

Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes your finger slips and you hit the wrong button. Sometimes you focus too hard--or not enough. Whatever the reason, you're not always going to improve on a purely quantitative level.

But you always learn things: what pitfalls to avoid, how to better approach a roadblock, or most importantly, how to keep going when you suddenly run into a brick wall (or into that bottomless pit). Just getting on that horse (or adorable dinosaur) is a victory.

And just forget about trying to knock off that other person's score. They're not even playing the same game as you are. Just work on getting that local leaderboard clear of all of those placeholder scores and once that's done, focus on replacing some of your old scores from time to time.

Competing against anyone but yourself in an individual sport is a recipe for disaster because then you become the person on the street yelling at someone only you can see.

Just keep the competition friendly; we don't need any real life Tyler Durdens stumbling about.