One game, as old as time itself. The other, a cult classic in the days when PC was at the forefront of gaming technology.
The original Minesweeper game that came pre-installed on original PC’s in the mid 90’s helped shape my young mind during formative years of secondary school.
In those adolescent years where the internet was still in its infancy, and my fondness for the opposite sex dictated which subjects I studied for GCSE, I found myself somehow enrolled in I.T. Class.
While the object of my affection defected to another class only a few weeks in, my chance to elope with her hit the skids and I found myself locked for a full semester under the guardianship of our teacher, Ms. Blaney, an androgynous type and a poor replacement that stretched to capacity my young, excitable imagination.
I whiled away most of the classes racking up hours on the limited ‘fun’ offline applications, but there are only so many times you can draw a giant cock on Corel Paint House Magic before the joke wears thin.
I quickly became bored with writing code and creating commands that didn’t seem to work, and so began my exploration through the hard drive of our trusted old PCs. Needless to say, Detective Reid failed to uncover any dirt or hidden files that would lift the lid on our teacher’s salacious behaviour.
The only mild amusement to be found on the old systems were the ‘games’ and I use that word lightly. The holy trinity of Solitaire, BlackJack, and Minesweeper. I wasn’t patient enough for cards and began working my way through Minesweeper starting at the beginner levels.
Looking back on those days, I’ve come to realise certain similarities between Minesweeper and my dating life where it may not be surprising that I am currently single.
- To win the Game, you need to be strategic. Not to be confused with being underhand or devious, a good Minesweeper player will tiptoe at first, and use best judgement without launching in. Similarly in dating, you don’t want to gush all over your date especially if you are dazzled by their beauty on first appearance. No matter how perfect they may seem at first sight, play it cool.
- You will fail many times. Even the best preparation won’t shelter you from crushing rejection or defeat. The key is to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and give it another try.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you are new to the game, please start with the basics and work your way up. It’s OK to start from the beginner level especially if you are out of practice or it’s your first time. In dating, practice makes perfect – Every bad date finished brings you closer to the perfect match.
- Beware of the Red Flags. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Exercise caution and tread carefully.
- Consider proximity. Ensure you read the signs and keep a respectable and suitable distance. One false move at any stage of the game can kill your chances of reaching the end point. Slow and steady.
- Patterns emerge. Your success comes with practice. Practice comes with playing the game many times, familiarising yourself to the terrain and failing repeatedly. You’ll eventually become better and see shortcuts which can help you enjoy the spirit of the game and increase your chances of a positive outcome.
- Invest appropriate time. Games can be fun. If you impose a strict time limit then you’re rushing your decisions. Take into account where you are in the game and what the ultimate end goal is. Set it up so you have a chance of winning.
- Know the rules. They’re there for a reason. If you repeatedly fail, you aren’t following the rules correctly. Self-calibrate, seek advice or read the damn instructions.
- It’s all a game. There should be an element of fun. Don’t take it too seriously. That’s a good way to creep people out.
See also Why Dating is Like Solitaire