The Games People Play

I think I once shared a story about my aversion to people stepping outside their area of expertise. I don’t really like people spouting off on things they know nothing about. Specifically I referred to a pop star lecturing on world peace. I think I said I would not ask him for a sermon anymore than I would ask the Dali Lama to shake his tush. (Although he might oblige. The little I have seen of him in the media, the man has a sense of humor!)

Anyway, I am going to go back on that a tad. Recognizing I am not a philosopher, I am going to share some lessons I have learned from Panda Pop [available for both Apple and Android]. What is Panda Pop? It is a free game from the App Store. They wore me down to download it by constantly advertising it on Bejeweled.

The premise is you have to save panda babies by popping balloons. Sounds a little lame, but it is addicting. I just cleared level 151.

THAT was a chore. I played the same level 50 times. And that was the first lesson. Perseverance. Try, try, again. No one ever wins by folding his tents and going home after the first failure.

Second lesson is try different strategies. I attacked that mass of balloons from every angle possible. Any way I could think of to go at them, I tried. Rigidity is not always a good thing. Einstein’s definition of insanity was doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

I also learned a frontal assault is not always the best strategy. Angle shots may get you much better results. If necessary, get devious.

Lesson next: aim high. It doesn’t hurt to try to take something out by targeting what is holding it up. If you fall a little short, you may hit a lesser target, but you are still in the game.

If you are not getting anywhere on your own, look for help. Believe it or not, people actually post Panda Pop solutions on YouTube. Don’t be afraid to ask how other people have gotten the job done. That is how I learned I needed to rescue the baby on the left before going after the ones further to the right.

YouTube was also where I discovered I could combine resources. I did not have to use only one of the enhancers at a time. I could combine them and get vines or explosions in three places, for example, instead of just one. (Download the game and look if you want to know what I am talking about. It is sort of long to explain). Be creative and try different combinations of attacks. Results might be much better.

You see what I am getting at. Playing  Panda Pop has parallels to life with AMD. We need to persevere and try different strategies. Be creative and come at things from different angles. Combine resources in new and different ways. (Channel you inner McGyver!) Search for information and ask for help. Finally, aim high. We should not be afraid to have big dreams and high hopes. Sometimes hope is what keeps us sane.

Clearing level 151 was a bear but I got the job done. We can beat a lot of the problems with living with AMD, too. Maybe even beat AMD itself. All we need to do is follow a few Panda Pop tricks. Who says video games are not educational?

Next: The Meaning of Life

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