What 'Smash Bros' Taught Me About School Work Ethic

'Smash Bros' Gave Me A New Outlook On School Work Ethic

Why do we spend so much time enjoying doing everything else but school work?


Have you ever wondered why we might invest countless hours into learning about the lore of a book, TV series, simply play a ton of hours of a certain game, but don't (want to) study mandatory classes for school (even when we might be paying for it)?

A couple of years ago, shortly after getting a 3DS for my 17th birthday, I decided to download the "Smash Bros" demo and see if that game was for me.

I decided to buy the game a couple of months after that. It's technical, the kind of game that you can easily pick up, but takes a significant number of additional hours to come anywhere near being at a good competitive level.

Some characters are harder, more technical than others. Some are weak and useless if you play them incorrectly *cough* *cough* LITTLE MAC *cough*, but absolutely devastating when correctly handled.

I soon began studying the game in my free time: learning about dairs, arials, tilts, edgeguarding…

But why?

Why did I feel so compelled to study something I 1) don't need to study to enjoy and 2) that's not going to be that useful in my life? (considering I'm not planning to go on tournaments).

Well, the secret is this:

I felt compelled to study "Super Smash Bros" because I knew that what I would learn would be useful to me directly.

Think about this: why are many students in schools not compelled to read books they are required to read? Or choose to wing tests? Yet, at home, are experts at their favorite series (book or TV) or favorite video games? Because they are curious about these things. Why were they curious about it? Because 1) they are interested in it, and 2) they know the information is useful to them.

Think about it. If you love the "Harry Potter" series, you want to be able to converse with people that have the same interest. Thus, acquiring knowledge about the "Harry Potter" universe becomes directly useful to you. Or, even if you're not planning to do that, if you love immersing yourself in that lore, then learning more about it becomes useful to you, in an entertaining sense.

Now, back to the school case.

If you're a student (what I'm about to say applies to basically any profession) and want to improve on bad grades/performances, or are having good grades but not feeling as great as you should about them (because you don't exactly know why you're getting them), you need to get curious. Don't study what you need to study because a teacher or your parents are making you, but study because you want to learn more about the world. Leo Gura from actualized.org has a great video about it, that you can find here.

To summarize, I'll end with this:

I study for school like I studied "Smash" and practiced combos. Sure, some of the facts that I've memorized will never be of any use to me in the grand scheme of things, but I study them because I want to. I study them because I'm curious about the world, and will never know when that kind of knowledge will come in handy. I studied Smash because I was interested in it. I practiced combos because I knew they would be useful to me, even just for entertainment purposes. I study and work on my school work not because "I need to", but because I truly know that in some way or another, it will be useful to me. And if not, then purely because it feeds my curiosity.

Now that "Ultimate" came out, though, I'm kind of glad I don't have a switch because I would definitely be playing that more than reading my textbooks.

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My Definitive Ranking Of Animal Crossing Games

I know what you're thinking, and no, they're all not the same game.

The Animal Crossing franchise has been around since 2002 and has four main games in its collection: Animal Crossing (Gamecube), Animal Crossing: Wild Word (Nintendo DS), Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS). Each game expands and improves upon the last one, while keeping the same simple game plot in mind -- you move into a new town and must take care of it and its villagers.

That being said, not every game is perfect. Here is my definitive ranking of Animal Crossing games, from best to worst.

1. Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)

In my personal opinion, this is the best Animal Crossing game of the bunch. They added lots of little features, while keeping the point of the game simple. In this game you could create your own constellations, open a coffee shop in your museum and even plant money trees -- all perks the Gamecube game did not have. Also, this game was the first in the franchise to allow for online play. You could now visit other people's towns, to explore and play together. I also think the unique design of the Nintendo DS helped make this game great. You could write letters or create patterns with the stylus on the touch screen, you see both screens simultaneously while playing, which allowed for easier game play then the Gamecube version. This game, to me, really defined Animal Crossing.

2. Animal Crossing (Gamecube)

It's hard to beat the original. This is Animal Crossing, in its most basic, true form. You have a mortgage to pay, a town to take care of and villagers to attend to. There are certain features in this game that I loved and wished they wouldn't have dropped when moving forward in the franchise. One of my personal favorites is the statue Tom Nook would construct if you paid off your mortgage in full - it was gold, shiny, right in front of the train station and absolutely ridiculous. Another feature, while not exactly honest gameplay, was another great one - the cheat codes you could find online. If you told Tom Nook a certain combination of letters and numbers, he would give you all sorts of goodies -- 30,000 bells, rare items, furniture. It was a nice little perk to have.

3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)

This game is arguably the one with the most changes and new features. This game took the usual Animal Crossing plot line and flipped it on its head: Tortimer, the mayor of your town, has decided to retire and named you his replacement. As mayor, you have so much you can do to your town: create new town projects, set new town ordinances, kick villagers out. Plus, a new island is introduced. You take a boat to it and have a direct line to rare fish, bugs and fruit. On top of all that, Nintendo just introduced a new update recently utilizing their amiibos in gameplay. All in all, this game is a lot of fun because it gives you so much to do. It can get overwhelming at times since there is so much you want to accomplish as mayor, but it's most always an enjoyable experience.

4. Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)

This game, to me, is the one I enjoyed the least. The game is pretty straight forward, like all other Animal Crossing games, but this particular one hyped up a city where you can shop from special stores or see shows. To be quite honest, the city never really impressed me. It was cool, but nothing that deserved all the hype it got. I also thought the controls for this game were a bit awkward -- you used both a Wii remote and a nunchuck, holding one in each hand. The nunchuck would control your movements and you would interact with tools, buildings or villagers with the Wii remote. It was something I could never get used to. This game wasn't bad, it just didn't live up to the other games in this family for me personally.

Cover Image Credit: Animal Crossing

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The Top 5 Games I'm Excited For In 2019

My hype for these games cannot be contained.


Looking ahead at the lineup of games to release in 2019, gamers have something to look forward to in all genres. With gaming conferences such as E3 still to come, that list can only keep on growing. I've limited that list down to five games which I am extremely hyped for, and I need them to come out right now.

1. "Borderlands 3" (I'M SUPER HYPED!!!)

AMD Gaming / Twitter

Literally, all the games on the list don't even come close to this legend right here. I love the Borderlands franchise as a whole and enjoy not only the story but the whole loot and gritty aspect of the game. The characters are awesome, and it's an amazing game to play with your friends. I can't tell you how excited I am just through text. This game is not only my childhood, but it's close to my number one favorite game of all time.

2. "Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission"

Nintendo / YouTube

"Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission" has a unique take on the Dragon Ball universe. Instead of an action-packed button mashing fighting game, you use cards to attack your opponents. The game has been released in Japan for a while now, but soon it will make its English debut. I'm all for collecting my favorite DBZ characters, so needless to say I'm more hyped than when Goku thought he killed Frieza on Namek. Only true fans understand.

3. "Mortal Kombat 11"

Mortal Kombat 11 / Twitter

I have always been a big fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise. With the gruesome fatalities and the blood and the gore, what's not to love about it? Usually, when something is new, that means improvements, graphical upgrades, and more and more unique satisfying ways to dismember your opponents. Trust me, this game isn't for your mother. Unless she's like mine and loves fighting games. If that's your mom, then she'll enjoy this one.

4. "Persona 5" (Nintendo Switch)

BagoGames / Flickr

To be honest, the only reason that I am excited for the "Persona 5" Nintendo Switch release is because of the main character, Joker, being in "Smash Bros. Ultimate." It's been on the PS4, but it was just recently leaked that it would be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Since then I have been watching tons of gameplay videos on it, and I gotta say, I'm hooked now.

5. "Hytale"

Hytale / YouTube

When looking at "Hytale," the first thing that comes to my mind is a buffed out, upgraded version of "Minecraft." You can do everything that you do in "Minecraft" and then some. The game is a sandbox game that can either be played with friends or solo. There are tons of things that you can do ranging from dungeons, fighting monsters, farming, and building. There's also a social hub where you can meet and interact with new people, so that's also a plus. Having a social life is always fun.

What games are you looking forward to?

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