I’m not an avid gamer. I hardly play games like Battlefield or World of Warcraft.
However, every once in a while, a game comes along and consumes the whole of me. Productivity levels drop to a bare minimum and I am rendered helpless in the face of such appeal.
Last month, this latest addiction came in the form of 2048, a puzzle game. From different versions such as dog spawns to a webpage that allows you to customize the tile images, its huge following and the number of productivity hours it has shaven off this planet has proven itself to be amongst the league of gaming giants like the Flappy Bird and Angry Birds.
After hours of playing, repeated patterns started to surface and I find it uncanny how such a simple yet profound game actually mirrors life. Some of them are pretty cliche but hey, that’s life isn’t it.
Consider this my attempt at trying to gain closure.
1. Success is no random thing.
When I first started playing 2048, I was randomly swishing the tiles around. Left, right, up, down. Then I stumbled upon the chain strategy. Similarly in life, one doesn’t attain success in random. You require basic building blocks in place before you can go about gaining success. Go random and it will be just a matter of time before you get punished by the rules of the game. Success is coming up with a strategy and sticking to it.
2. Do not be afraid to stray off course.
If your strategy is not working out, or you need to just tweak it for a few moves before you can go back to your strategy, do it. Sticking to a rigid strategy won’t do you any good in many circumstances. As Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ”
3. It’s alright to make mistakes.
You’re bound to make a mistake in the game some time or another. When that 2 annoyingly appears in the middle of your high-numbered tiles, keep calm and know that there are always ways to salvage your game. A mistake or two will most likely not doom your game. Likewise, do not be afraid to make mistakes in your life, it’s usually not the end. Just be sure to fix them as soon as you can.
4. Do not sweep things under the rug.
If and when you actually do commit a mistake, do not sweep it under the rug. Take action to fix it. Ignoring the 2 that appeared in the middle of all the high numbered tiles will only eventually come back to haunt you later in the game, whether it’s screwing up your chain strategy or just basically taking up valuable space in the game. Ignoring these “minor” issues will only cause sudden catastrophes later on in the game.
5. Miracles do happen
Just when you thought the game is a goner, you get thrown a lifeline out of seemingly nowhere. Sometimes it is not so clear how the tiles are connected. It is only in retrospect that you can see it. Here I will insert a cliched quote you probably have seen a million times by the late Steve Jobs. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
6. It’s an ads world.
Whether you’re in a game or real life, ads are everywhere and it seems like nothing is about to change. Ads have somehow found a way to permeate every single nook and cranny of our lives. The increasing ubiquity of ads will continue to annoy us, what with sales of elder scrolls in that flashing 2 by 4 banner at the bottom of the screen.