No matter what you love to play, games are all about self-improvement. Nail that combo. Jump that chasm. Top that score. Getting better at games is serious business, and I’m here this morning to teach you one of my secret techniques for mastering any game you’re having trouble with. Forget about tips and tricks or tip lines; the secret to mastering any game is all in your mind.
Have you heard of method acting? Wikipedia defines it as a “family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances.” Some of the world’s greatest performances have been delivered by method actors like Robert De Niro and Daniel Day Lewis, and some of the world’s greatest games have been played by pro gamers who spent months emulating their favorite characters.
For my own safety and that of my loved ones I must not reveal which pro gamers practice this secret technique, but I can assure you that method gaming is the best-kept secret on the competitive gaming circuit. It’s what separates the pros from the scrubs, and today I’m going to show you how this ancient technique can help you master some of the most popular games on the market.
1. Super Street Fighter IV
Everyone knows SSF4 is the pinnacle of competitive gaming, and Jimmy Blanka is clearly the ultimate ass-kicker. But to school fools with Blanka, you can’t just play like a beast; you need to become a beast. Evo 2011 just wrapped, so you’ve got a year to get in shape and get your ass to Vegas in time to compete for the 2012 EVO Championship.
First, you’ll need to start hitting the gym on a regular basis. None of that cardio kickboxing bullshit either; to become a competitive Blanka player you’re gonna need lats like a linebacker and testicles the size of Tic Tacs, so get started on a proper steroid cycle, hit the squat rack and get diesel.
Once you’re straight jacked, grow your hair and fingernails out and adopt a sort of hunchback posture. Snarl whenever anyone looks at you wrong. Roll everywhere. Dye all your body hair red, find yourself a pair of cutoff cargo shorts and start stalking the streets of Vegas shirtless and snarling at passersby.
Fun Fact: Carrot Top is secretly the greatest Blanka player in the world.
Look, the original Half-Life came out nearly fifteen years ago to wild acclaim as one of the greatest first-person narratives ever made. When the sequel was released eight years ago, critics and consumers tripped over each other in a race to fork over their fifty bucks and fill Gabe Newell’s coffers fit to bursting, an act of financial fellatio so extravagant that Valve is still recovering.
But that refractory period is almost up, and when Half-Life 3 finally pops you’ll want to be ready. Guiding Gordon Freeman through the finale of Valve’s cryptic triptych is going to tax the problem-solving and crowbar-waving regions of your brain pretty heavily, so consider adopting a method approach to like, really understand what it means to be the mute messiah of a totally fucked planet.
To get inside Gordon’s head, you’ll need to grab a pair of hipster goggles and hit the local Home Depot. Pick up a set of rubber boots, gloves and a proper high-carbon steel ripping bar. To really feel the burden of slogging through sewers in a stifling HEV suit, combine the boots and gloves with your heaviest Cosby sweater and wrap yourself from head to toe in an orange Snuggie, then take your laptop and sit inside your septic tank. Bring your crowbar. Say nothing to no one.
Fun Fact: Eric Clapton sleeps with a crowbar under his pillow.
3. Super Mario Bros.
Everyone has played a Mario game, but have you ever played one high? If so, you’ve probably wondered why World C-3 is such a bitch, or why an Italian waste management specialist is wriggling through sewage pipes to a horrible Hollow Earth filled with freakishly mutated turtles and waddling piles of feces with teeth. Either way, to really master a Mario game you’ll need to adopt a method approach and figure out what it means to become Mario.
First off, move to the Mushroom Kingdom. Failing that, move to Kennett Square, PA, the Mushroom Capital of the World. Kidnap a beautiful blonde woman and leave her bound and gagged in the reptile exhibit of the Kennett Square zoo for a few days. Break back in and rescue her, all the while calling her your “Mushroom Princess.”
In your spare time, climb girders in abandoned construction yards for practice. Eat every brightly-colored flower and mushroom you come across, and never get on a plane without your giant yellow cape. Headbutt offensive masonry. Buy a few crates of black ball-peen hammers and practice throwing them at quarterbacks, motorcycle cops, the developmentally disabled or really anyone wearing a helmet. Buy a go-kart and ride it everywhere, especially the highway. If anyone gives you shit, hurl a turtle shell at them. Soon, you too will become a master Mario player like famed Chico and the Man guest star Avery Schreiber.