The Big Game

How to become a video game legend.

September 2, 2010

Vikki Chu

Perhaps the easiest legacy to leave is the one of the video game — even if it is the only high score on your gaming console. You may not be this year’s Donkey Kong champion, Hank Chien, but hey, you can be No. 1 in your own living room. 


  • A video game console
  • Adhesive bandages 
  • Understanding roommates or family members
  • Earplugs for roommates or family members
  • Dedication

Break things. Break all the pots and cut all the grass. At least in Zelda’s world, that’s where all the money, hearts and goodies are.

Keep your digits nimble. Your moves are only as fast as your fingers. Those monsters trapped in bubbles in Bubble Bobble won’t pop themselves. Do some finger push-ups at work. Challenge your friends to impromptu thumb wrestling. Or even better: Challenge a Chinese finger trap to do its job.

Don’t save up for rainy days. Just like your tax refund, you say you’ll save it but end up splurging on an iPad or shoes. If you can’t live like a responsible adult, you shouldn’t play like one either. In Super Mario 3, go ahead and use those Warp Whistles because what the hell are you really saving them for anyway? Seize the day, Mario.

Go all in. Press ALL the buttons — REALLY FAST. This strategy worked for me, at least, in Mortal Kombat.

Practice makes points. Ultimately, unlike forcing yourself to memorize the week's new list of characters for the all-day Chinese lessons that consumed every Saturday of your youth, leaving your mark on the video game high scoreboard is going to take even more practice, dedication and mindless repetition. Your only teacher is the game and the only person you can let down is yourself.

Sacrifice. Just as sometimes you’ll be forced to sacrifice a “life” in order to advance in the game, so too must you sacrifice in real life. Your friends, family, social life and waistline will have to suffer in order for you to achieve personal greatness. Your boss may fire you, your significant other may leave you and your power wardrobe may now consist of sweats and a stained kickball team T-shirt from 2004. However, in the end, everyone around you — those left anyway — will understand and even rejoice with you when they see your initials blinking under the bright neon words: High Score.

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