What I’ve learned about life from “Guy Dangerous”


October 3rd, 2013

My father-in-law was a keen card player. We’d sit around and play cards as a family. This was new to me. I wasn’t from a card playing family, so I had to learn quickly. At the end of each hand, he’d peer at me over his glasses and ask me something like why I played the the red Queen in round three. I’d stare back blankly, struggling to remember tricks and melds and wild cards and everything else, let alone when, and why, I’d played a particular card. Even then, I knew that talking about the game after it was over was unlikely to help me. What I needed was immediate feedback, practice, and a lot of it.

Fast forward, 30+ years. I’m still a crap card player (not enough practice) and now I have lots of games I can play at my leisure. Just now, playing one of the endless running games, I noticed my reaction to killing the protagonist. First I’d laugh. There’s many ways for “Guy Dangerous” (yes, really, that’s what he’s called – I don’t name ’em, I just play ’em!) to die. There’s something quite comforting about a game that makes me laugh at my own mistakes. And then I just play again. And again. And again. Each time I get a little better. Sometimes I’m distracted by a thought, a blog post idea (!), something else going on and poor old Guy Dangerous is crushed, or burnt, or falls or smashes into a hard object.

This is how children learn. I suspect it’s how we humans learn – no matter what our age. Somewhere, somehow, we’re taught that we should pre-plan, prepare, speculate and get all the ducks lined up before we begin, lest we fail. Most often this approach leads to never starting at all. Let’s give each other permission to just have a go, and if we fall over, literally or figuratively, then offer a hand up, and try again.

 

 

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