Thursday, February 18, 2010

Life lesson learned from Wii sword play

Drawing of a blue and red lightsaber fighting....
Image via Wikipedia
Lately, I have been really into one of the games on the Wii Sports Resort, Sword Play. Through the game, I have reinforced a life lesson that I mentioned in another blog post about being deliberate to be effective. Well, it came up again.

First, a little about the game. You wield a lightsaber-looking sword against opponents. One game has you matched against an opponent where you have to knock each other off a platform, much like pugil sticks on a game show. In another one, you compete on chopping things with your sword. The game I enjoy is one where you fight through a gauntlet.

I just started playing this past weekend, so I'm still learning. I've made my way to level 15 already. It was tough getting out of level 6 with my beginner tactics. Naturally, when you are getting your butt kicked, you panic and start flailing with your sword. Not only is this ineffective, it probably helps your opponent defeat you faster. At the very least, it makes you amusing to your family.

I got up to level six simply by beating the players in the gauntlet on the head with my sword. Once there, I simply could not win no matter how hard I tried. Well, my son saved me. He told me that I should push a button to put my weapon in a defensive position. *HEADSLAP*

My son's advice helped me pass the next couple stages. However, I got stuck soon thereafter. Well, one side effect of learning how to guard myself from attacks was that it slowed me down. Prior to learning about the button, I was attacking at break neck speed to keep from being hit, which only worked for a few levels.

Once I slowed down, some interesting things started happening. I noticed there is a rhythm to striking my opponents. Too fast, and your strikes are ineffective. I also started noticing body language. If you pay attention rather than flagellate your sword around, you can see that your opponents almost tell you how they are going to attack. I also notice that you are often better off letting them strike first so you can nail them on their recovery.

I am not the same player today that I was on Sunday. If you watch me now, my strikes are more deliberate and effective. I'm not saying that I am the master of the game. Far from it. It is difficult to fight opponents in bunches, because you are not always sure which one is going to attack. All it takes is three strikes to take you out.

So, the reinforced lesson is, take your time. Be deliberate. Don't waste energy just looking like you are doing something. Being deliberate makes you more effective and reassuring to those who look to you for reassurance. In other words, being deliberate is a winning strategy.

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