Sunday, November 7, 2010

Smashing is a Virtue

Robert Langellier and Garrett Richie

Much like Matt Mckinney, I want to share my finest piece of journalism thus far with the audience.

Some things in college demand your attention. There are massive reading assignments, part-time jobs, weekends, the ladies and Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 64. You can guess which one demands the most.

Smash Bros. serves as the great equalizer of the Millennial Generation. Regardless of one’s cultural, ethnic, or socioeconomic standing, every round offers the opportunity to destroy or be destroyed, to kill or be killed. Consistent smashing cultivates a greater knowledge of vice and virtue, victory and defeat, life and death. With every thrown controller or celebratory dance amidst animated confetti, the world of Smash Bros. offers practical examples of MU’s famous four pillars.

Is it really reasonable to allot more time in a day to a decade-old video game than to sleep? Shut up. Of course it is. There is absolutely no question, and this is why:

1. Excellence. I don’t know if you’ve ever played either of us, but we’re really really really super good. We can tell because of how we’ve grown desensitized to the way people often tear up after we’re done ripping their character apart. Super Smash Bros. ignites the desire to succeed…at nothing of importance, but there is a principle that I’m sure has been ingrained in us that will help us become better people down the road, maybe. We frequently hone our inapplicable talents by playing 1 vs. 3 team matches against level 9 computers. (That’s like playing one level 27.) We play hour-long 99 stock matches and master highly specific ways to kill our opponents. We comb the internet for Smash Bros. knowledge, studying tier systems that rank character abilities. Excellence achieved.

2. Respect. One might take the steady, screaming flow of colorful obscenities as derogatory, but really it’s a Smash Bros. code of language to show respect to our opponents. We also have deep respect for the Code of Randomness, always submitting ourselves to the game’s decisions. Never choose your computer opponent. Never choose your stage. If you’re fighting Pikachu, Link and Ness at Samus’ acid stage, take every thunder, B-Up sword slice and PK fire like a champion before being acid cleared to your undeserved death. Like in the real world, the players who consistently come out on top know how to adjust to what is thrown at them, adapting to and conquering their circumstances. Respect the Code.

3. Discovery. Smash Bros. encourages players to expand their horizons, embarking on a journey to discover new and exciting possibilities by switching characters. Learn why Jigglypuff’s aerial-attack-to-B-Down combo is the best in the game, or why Yoshi’s cute little jump is actually impossible to stop when he’s defying death with a triumphant hum. Realize the fan’s shield-breaking potential and shatter the hopes of your unexpecting opponents. Have high frequency Bob-omb battles with your friends. Have a Captain Falcon battle where the only allowed move is Falcon Punch. Falcon Punch someone in real life. Super Smash Bros. is a gold mine for inspiration when used properly.

4. Responsibility. We’ll admit, there’s not a whole lot of this going on here. Spending hours tearing apart lesser players (all other players) just because we can doesn’t necessarily translate to an accomplished resume, but we like to think that taking out our violent frustrations on each other with a video game is just another step towards growing up.