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3 Ways The Video Game ‘Pitfall’ Prepared Me For Life

See, Mom? I did learn something.

Beat your high score. Your former self is your only competition. | Magic Room Brand

I’m old enough to look back at the evolution of video games and be in awe of all of it. I was little when it became a “thing” and I remember liking it as much as any of my friends, which is to say that we had fun but also didn’t let it take over our other interests.

We were good at video games, but when we were done, we went outside and played. Got dirty. Eventually got super awkward with girls. You know…all of that.

I still have all the old consoles, too. Atari. The original Nintendo. Man, I need to hook those up.

A few years ago, I was trying to explain “my” old games to a kid who was waaaaaay into video games. I told him how I was the “Pitfall” champion in my house and he had never heard of the game. I told him that it was screen after screen of different scenarios and for each scenario, you needed to move your guy from the left side to the right side without falling into a pit, or getting caught in a random campfire, or eaten by alligators. If you made it, you had another scenario waiting for you. And then one after that.

And then, yes, one after that.

Kid: “What’s the point? I mean, how do you know if you won?”

Me: “Won? Won what?”

Kid: “The game. When does it end?”

Me: “Hmm…well, it ends when you die.”

Then it hit me, the video game Pitfall is life.

Pitfall — profound in its simplicity — is life, and it has taught me perhaps the three most important lessons about life.

  1. The game was different each time you played. Every time you started, it was different. Random. You never knew what the next scenario was going to be until you got there and you needed to know what to do once you did. Some scenes were harder than others, but you had to rely on your skills and know-how to get across.
  2. Each game was unique to you. Because the sequence of scenes was random, the game was not only new to you each time, but also completely new to the universe. Johnny down the street never had the same sequence as you and vice versa, so you couldn’t worry too much about him and whatever his score was. Instead, you had to focus on your game and do your thing. His abilities were inconsequential to your game.
  3. Do better. Be better. In my discussion with the aforementioned kid, he felt that the game was pointless if you weren’t trying to save a princess, beat an army, kill a dragon, or whatever. But Pitfall wasn’t pointless. Actually, the point of the game was so elegantly simple: Live as long as you can while going as far as you can.

I mean...right?! Boil it all down, all any of us are trying to do in real life is get through the random, unique scenarios and beat our own previous high game score.

Onward

I’ve been building Magic Room Brand for almost two years now, and recognizing an improvement or some growth in some aspect usually means it’s a good day.

Work. Try to have a good day. Repeat.

Don’t worry about what anyone else’s game score is. The game they’re playing might be similar, but I promise you…it’s not the same.

All we can do is focus on our game and try to be better than our former selves.

Level up.

#bewhatyoumake

Vijoy Rao || Founder // Magic Room Brand
100% sustainable musician accessories. Sound. Strength. Sustainability.

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Vijoy Rao

Vijoy Rao

Drummer • Painter • Father • Founder of @magicroombrand • Lover of records, ballpark nachos, and bad puns — sometimes all at once. www.magicroombrand.com