Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life lessons from Video Games and Anime.

I probably need to start this post by presenting you, the reader, with some important things. They aren't by themselves and of themselves of great importance, but they will make sense shortly.

It goes without saying that I am an avid gamer. It's pretty evident for my face-to-face mates, and probably traceable from the blog posts that exist so far. I'm into RPGs and puzzle games, but also a lot of the culture that comes with it. So, while I play games like Zelda and Final Fantasy, I also follow Red vs. Blue and understand a lot of the terminology that comes with the territory.

Like the bit where you don't give Caboose anything pointy, ever.

That aside, I actually spent a lot of my childhood during Christmas holidays playing Zelda. But not any other time of year, because it was our Aunts who lived in Queensland who owned the game.

By leaps and bounds and walkthroughs, we made it, and seven years after we started fiddling with the '64, we beat Ganon.

Well, Jack's file beat Ganon. It was a joint effort between him and myself.

So yeah. Ocarina of Time was kind of instrumental in how I see stories and the world and the characters. It was a little weird back in January when I realised the list of similarities between reality and Hyrule.

That can be saved for later.

But then.

Part of the whole Zelda thing is the fact that you, the protagonist, have to save the Princess and the Kingdom from the Evil Socerer and obtain the Triforce (magical thing that lets you do whatever the heck you want). But the push behind your character obtaining the Triforce, and the reason why the bad guy can't hold it, is because he is out of balance (and also evil.).

The Triforce splits and then he gets the third devoted to Power, which is what he has.

You, the player, get the bit that is for the guy with the most Courage, because obviously you have to be crazy brave or crazy stupid to fight giant spiders, dinosaurs, jellyfish, ghosts, dragons, more jelly creatures, more ghosts, witches and Big Bad himself.

The Princess (your girlfriend (or your sister, according to Jack)) gets the bit of the triforce with Wisdom. Probably because they need another thing to tie you and Big Bad and the Legend of Zelda, even though your character's name is Link.

So, Ganon just wants his Power bit and Zelda's Wisdom bit. And somehow you and Zelda beat him. Courage and Wisdom.

Courage and Wisdom.

Slightly monumental in how I see things. Because, well, not just the Triforce.

It takes Courage to go out and do something gutsy. But Wisdom kind of helps in making sure that you don't behave like a complete idiot when you do keep going. Power? Pfft. Power is good in getting you places. But I have found over time that, in keeping with Japanese RPGs and mute fairy boys, if you know what to do, all you need to do is be willing to stick your neck out and try.

And that's something that I wish I saw more of in the real world.

To keep trying. To pick yourself up and stand, even when everything else tells you that you should just lie down and die. To keep your heart in the centre of the maelstrom because there's every chance that if you stay, you can fix it.

This is especially important, because I spent a lot of my teenage years hiding mine and running away. When I wasn't trying to figure out how to interact with people who'd learned those skills back when they were eight.

Homeschooling has its ups and downs.

So yeah. Courage. Need it.

Wisdom. Need that too. I spend a lot of time with my feet in my mouth. Maybe not literally, but figuratively? Dude, if you want figurative I have three feet. It's ridiculous, and there's no excuse for it. So. Get Wisdom. It does miles of good.

What else?

Not Power.


I learned Resolve a little bit later down the track.

I mentioned Bleach a while back. You can read the synopsis there if you really want.

Part of the whole Bleach thing that I didn't mention in the post about the Giant Black Butterfly From Hell was how the protagonist has to go and rescue the girl and fight the Big Bad.

Sound familiar?

There's more drama and action and yelling in Bleach. And more blood. But, the thing that the protagonist has to learn before he saddles up and storms the fortress is that he would face up against things determined to bring him down. To kill him. And he had a duty there; to protect her. Save the girl from an execution, because she had saved him before. Protect her with the ability she'd given him.

I understand if it reads a little weird, or if it doesn't immediately make sense where all this is going just yet. I'll get there.

The guy who trains the protagonist teaches him the value of Resolve. Of deciding something and deciding it so strongly that your eyes glow and you gain the will to see this thing through.

So, it takes a certain setup to make one's eyes glow, and an even more careful one to make a human's eyes glow without causing permanent damage to them. But that's not really the point.

The point, and the value in learning Resolve, is that Ichigo, the protagonist, takes on an army of enemies. I'm including Squad 11 in there, for those who follow the series and want to get nitpicky. On just about every occasion he is only just able to defeat them; partially because it makes for a good story, partially because the Anime producers want you to tune in next week, and partially because he decides to get off his rear and do this thing.

Sometimes it's because Shiro rocks up. But Shiro will get a blog post later.

So, the series teaches the viewer/reader the importance of protecting what you hold dear (in Ichigo's case, it's pretty much always his friends. Unless he's sparring with his Dad.), and the value in Resolving to see something through. Because otherwise, nothing will change.

Like I mentioned in the other Post, Bleach didn't get discovered until I was in my final year of High School. But the idea of Resolve stuck, and stuck as well and as truly as the aforementioned Courage and Wisdom combo.

Because, when I started thinking about it, it takes Courage to stand up and grab your sword/item of a catalyst nature. It takes Wisdom to know what to do with that Sword. But it takes Resolve to hang onto it.

So go out. Be willing to do something, even when the odds seem poor. Don't do a half-assed job with something because you couldn't be bothered, or if it didn't resonate with you the way you wanted. Talk to people, whether or not you think that they're mad. Treasure what's around you, because chances are that you'll have to defend it at some point in time and not only will you want that thing you're protecting to be solid, but you'll want to be solid when you stand up. Start properly, and finish properly.

Be Courageous.

Be Wise with that Courage.

Be Resolute when you're being Wise with that Courage.

And something worthwhile might just happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Come on, leave your epic wordage in the space below. I dare you.