Friday, 25 September 2015
Fair warning this is a musings type post. Might be best to source a beverage :)
Last Saturday I attended yet another X-Wing event. This one was an inter-club challenge representing the 186. It was a good day out up at Wargames Workshop in Milton Keynes. Including five 75 minute games, travel and breaks it was a 14 hour day. By game 5 I was flagging, same as everyone else, and was triumphantly exhausted during prize giving. No complaints though, quite the opposite :)
As a regular tourney player it's something that I'm used to and have learned a few survival techniques. I'm also very familiar with the inside of a gym and run a couple of 10Ks a week. The parallels are all there to be drawn.
For a tourney I'll make sure I get in a decent breakfast, often scrambled egg and bacon on toast. I've learned to snack small between games, peanut butter roll or fruit, and try to drink a bottle of water per game, especially as rooms full of gamers warm up rather quickly. I limit my lunch as I used to play poorly first game back otherwise, Circadian rhythem has an effect apparently. So hydration and regular snacking (non sugar to avoid rush and crash), the parralels begin to form.
Then, as I was contemplating this post I found this article on the Beeb about the physical effect of sustained mental effort. The article specifically looks at bridge, poker and chess but the same principles applying to any competitive gaming. The important word there is competive because primarily we all play games for fun and escapsim from real life. Competitive gaming offers a different edge to things, something I've rambled on about before an exacts a different toll.
With physical training repitition is key to build skill, endurance and stamina. Mental training, in the form of competitive gaming, follows the same mantra. I was interested in the article's claims that chess grand masters can burn 5000+ calories. The stereotypical gamer is either in need of feeding up or a pathalogical salad dodger, though I don't think the stereotype holds these days.
Another parrallel is the need for rest days / periods. With a decent number of events and competitions recently I'm beginning to feel the burn. As a release Thursday nights at Dark Sphere I've been playing much more casually. In a couple of weeks there's the Gaurdians of Tyr Team Touranament and I know a lot of people have been getting in plenty of table time for it. It's going to be an excellent day out but afterward I'm going to notch things back a touch. Tomorrow its Warboar in Bromley which many of us are using as an extended practice day.
With competitive X-Wing, there's more than one kind of STRESS but at the end of the day its all about the Pew-Pew ;)