Plants Versus Zombies and patience
I don’t play many computer or video games these days, so I can’t really explain the appeal of Plants Vs. Zombies. It wears on me after a while, but every year or so I find myself back playing it again for a month or two. The most recent resurgence of interest was when we upgraded to a newer version and discovered that the game now awarded little trophy badges for all sorts of accomplishments. So during the craziness of last fall, when my brain was tired of all my regular things, I would sit down and earn imaginary trophies on Plants Vs. Zombies.
One of the mini-games in PVZ is called I Zombie. I’ve never played it much. The endless mode was frustrating. I like games where I can accumulate resources rather than trying to extend dwindling resources as far as I can. There was a trophy for getting past level 10 on I Zombie Endless. I wanted that trophy, but never seemed to be able to get past level 5. I sat there, tense, calculating resources in my head, thinking long and hard about each move before I made it. I still could not pass level 5. Then one day I was really tired. I was far too tired to do math in my head. I decided that rather than trying to pass level 10, I would just experiment and have fun. I tried moves that looked crazy. I watched the results curious to see what would happen. It was fun and relaxing. I played the same way the next day, and the next. I played that way for more than a week. Then one day as I was playing, a trumpeting sound alerted me to the fact that I had earned the trophy for getting to Level 10 in I Zombie. Somehow in all that experimenting, I taught myself how to play by instinct. I was far better at the game than I had ever been when I was calculating carefully.
I remember this experience when I am faced with a challenge that seems impossible. I slow myself down, keep at it, and trust that sheer repetition will impart the skills I need. For most things I don’t have to get it right all at once. I just have to get it right eventually.
And with that thought, I need to get back to revising my book.
Mirrored from onecobble.com.