Story time!
When I first started playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on my boyfriend’s Xbox, I had only picked up a controller a handful of times before. Pretty sure all those times involved Super Mario Carts at someone’s party and pretty sure it only ever lasted 5 minutes before someone decided it was time for Beer Pong or a campfire. Needless to say, I was really green starting out on COD.
The major factor in my noob-ness? I just had no coordination! I would spend half the time shooting into the air (can you kill birds? And do they count for kills?) and the other half running into walls looking at my feet (good thing walls can’t kill you!). I am pretty sure I would have rage/frustration quit right after any game I played if it weren’t for the coaching of my boyfriend and his best friend.
After the initial intro to the game (“Here’s how you shoot”, “You have this type of weapon” etc.) I still wasn’t getting it! I just kept dying, all while looking at the sky or a wall. I was so frustrated! Not sure who ended up saying it, but one of the guys finally said “Think of this toggle as hands. Point them where you want to shoot. Think of the other as feet. Use that to run in the direction you want to go.” And it clicked! It was a basic explanation, but it was what I needed. Something simple and straight forward.
I spent the next couple games saying “Hands, Feet, Hands, Feet” and “Feet, Feet, Feet” as I ran around the map. Pretty sure the guys got a good laugh out of how funny I sounded, but it worked! My kill to death ratio went up and I finally felt that I could contribute while playing team death matches. I spent more time having fun, even if my dialogue was pretty much reduced down to two words.
The overall message? Don’t be afraid to do something silly if it helps you get better! Not everyone learns the same way, so trying something out of the box may just be what you need. Something as simple as a second, different explanation can go a long way in the learning something new. I am grateful for awesome friends who let me learn in my own way, and appreciated my “unique” approach to COD.
So if at first you don’t succeed, ask for the instructions in Pig Latin instead.

How do you learn?

Happy Gaming!

-SB

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