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Alternate Reality: Effort Should Count

Have you ever studied really hard for a test, but failed anyway? Have you ever spent months training for a sports team, but not make the cut? Have you ever poured countless hours into a fighting game to be thrashed around by a top tier character?

I have. In a general scale I�m sure we all have. There are some things some people are naturally good at and others aren�t. That�s just how life works. If I could take any one trait from a video game and apply it to real life it would be grinding; good old, turn-based, jrpg style grinding.

Grinding may be one of the least popular ways to spend time in rpgs, and I�m not condoning the unspeakable actions of the Metal King Slime, but imagine what the world could be like if all that mattered was effort. Think about it for a second. Seriously, think of one thing you�re bad at that drives you crazy. Just imagine if genetics, upbringing, any kind of emotional predisposition all had no way of even moderately affecting your skills and abilities. Bad at math? Without fail studying will help. Socially awkward? Level it up. Don�t know how to tie your shoes? Grind until it works.

By now you might be thinking that grinding already exists in a way, and I�d agree. For all of the above problems �grinding� can be applied in the form of studying, spending time in social situations, and moving the laces around until it makes sense, but the main difference is grinding allows for guaranteed improvement. I�ve known people who would spend hours every night studying for a math test at the end of the week and still do terribly because they just can�t work out the numbers. I�ve met people with creative minds for storytelling who can�t spell and people who have memorized the most minor grammar usage rules but couldn�t come up with a worthwhile idea for their life. What if practicing guaranteed improvement, and just as a black mage memorizes firaga, a person could memorize just about anything.

In a sense this almost sounds like it would allow for too much. If life is grinding then if you can find the time for it you can be a master of all trades. Essentially, this is true, but the �if� in front of the word �time� puts a rather large stopper on the concern. As Sheik expressed so well, �The flow of time is always cruel�� There would be no way to find time to practice all aspects of every ability humanly possible. Just as rpgs have level caps, so does life.

If you really apply yourself and give something your all, you can do anything. If I could take any one thing out of video games into the real world, it would be that.
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About Rei Lanzoone of us since 7:27 PM on 02.07.2010

I've been gaming since before I can remember...literally. So I don't know what the first game I ever played is. Considering my childhood memories of it and the extensive map my father drew up by hand, I can definitly say my earliest major gaming experience was the original legend of zelda.
Overall, I like games that are just a little bit off. I get bored a little easy with games that try too hard to be cool, and prefer something a bit more bright and lighthearted, so naturally I tend to favor nintendo over the other major systems. A few of my favorite games for a few of my favorite systems are: Gyromite, Snow Bros., Street Fighter, Rocket Knight Adventures, Megaman, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Final Fantasy, DragonQuest, Legend of Legaia, Gitaroo Man, Blazblue, Pokemon, and naturally The Legend of Zelda...Majora's Mask.
I'm addicted to rpgs...jrpgs...I need my turn-based fix every now and then or I start tweaking out...and I absolutely adore fighting games. I'm kind of a Chun li fanboy. Some might call my love of Chun li strange...well they don't know the half of it.