10,000 Hours of Practice

It takes 10,000 hours of practice to be good at something. When I played WoW, I remember one character having over 200 days logged in. Now, some of that time wasn’t actually playing, but I am sure most of it was. 5000 hours on a single game. 5000 hours of sitting at my computer.

To be fair, I learned a lot in that time. I spent some time organizing and leading. I coordinated 25 people on raids as a raid leader, as well as a vitriolic 21 year old could expect to lead. I cut my teeth on my social skills in online games. I remember when I was ‘getting out’ I specifically tried to transplant my online social skills to in person. I am not sure if transplanting my social skills was successful as such, but it did give me a starting point on how to go wrong about it. To some extent, that is the learning process as well.

10,000 hours? I have tens of thousands of hours of practice playing games. Ancient games of skills. Card games. Board games. Video games. Big games, small games. Single player, online, one on one, and team games. 

I play cosmic encounters, the precursor to magic, with a group on Tuesday nights right now. I playing with other people reminds me of how in tune with the ‘feel’ of the game you have to be, for any game really. I am sure lifetime musicians also have the same feeling. Cosmic is a game with an endgame push. You build up capital and then, on your turn, you try to overcome the combined forces of the other players.

Obama gave his inauguration speech early this week. He spent nearly two minutes on climate change. Up until this week, I had been evaluating the climate change debate as a game that matched this feel, build up your capital, sometime there will come a moment to enter the endgame. If a second term president decides to bring to bear the weight of a legacy into play, I’m not sure if my previous metaphor holds up any more.

10,000 hours of practice. Keep writing.