Monday, August 11, 2014

This (Non) Sporting Life: The 2048 Circles of Hell

I haven't done one of these in a while. So here we go with a new installment of This (Non) Sporting Life, the blog about sports from a guy who doesn't know much about sports.

As a person who is not athletically inclined, I have a rather loose definition of what constitutes a "sport".  In one previous post, I waxed nostalgic on what I thought was a rather kick ass moment of awesome I experienced during a game of Dungeon and Dragons. As I've said before, if Solitaire or Fruit Ninja were considered actual sports, I would have a shot at being considered an athlete.

One game that has come to consume way too much of my time and attention is an insidious little math game called 2048.

The game is laid on a 16 tile game board. The object is to move tiles of multiples of two next to like numbers (2+2=4, 4+4=8, 8+8=16, etc etc) until at least one title equals 2048. 

Now it doesn't seem that hard but it is. Oh, it's not the math that's hard or even the strategy. What makes this game so damn difficult is simple human impatience. 

You see, you have to be very deliberate with your choices about what numbers to link up and when. It is important to resist temptation and just starting combining 2s and 2s, 4s and 4s and so forth and so on. The next thing you know, you're click things left and right like you're a whirling dervish. "Oooh, look at me! Look how clever I am! I'm combing numbers all over the place. Yee haw! I've got myself a 512! Look out, 2048 here I come!"

And then I get boxed in and the game is over.  

I just need to learn to slow down, think about what steps that need to be taken instead of just going, "Woo, woo! Look how fast I can combine 4s into 8s, 8s in 16s, 16s into 32s, 32s into 64s and...."

Damn! Stuck again! 

But I keep trying, time and time again. Each time I vow I'm going to be smart, take my time, make deliberative choices and...


Damn, stuck again!

And so I try again. And 2048 is very addictive. One of the rules of the game is take time out for food and water which is a genuinely helpful adage because, well, I do forget to take care of those things. 

C'mon! Just ONE MORE TIME! I know I can beat this! I can be cool! I can be smart! I can...

Stuck again?!?!  !@#$% it!!!!!!

Of course maybe this is one of those games that just can't be won. I think that really may be the case.


OK, so it can be done. 

Well, not by me, it can't. But that's the wrong attitude, isn't? I'm just got to believe in myself. I can win this game! I can play smart and make all the right moves! I can do it! I can-


Er, actually I', experienced a...groin injury?

Yeah, let's go with that.  

Anyone for solitaire?


I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You


Update: 8:15 PM EDT
Earlier this evening, news broke about the death of Robin Williams at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide. This has been an emotional event for me and I'm not really sure how to process this. I will address this in a forthcoming post but for the time being, I join with millions of other fans who delighted in the performance of this most talented individual to express my sorrow on his passing and my condolences to his family, friends and associates in this time of their grief.

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