Joy in failure
Jimmy Kemper | Wednesday, April 1, 2015
I was walking down the street near sunset. The sky was painted blood red, and a cathedral bell echoed in the distance. I was the only person in sight. I turned the corner not entirely sure what to expect. A man with a vague resemblance to Freddy Kreuger was waiting for me and jumped at me before I even have a chance to react. I died quickly and painfully.
Over the weekend I began “Bloodborne,” the latest video game by legendary designer Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at From Software, the makers of the infamous “Dark Souls” and “Demon’s Souls” games.
Like Miyazaki’s past works, “Bloodborne” is a cruel, grueling and honestly horrifying game and probably one of the most miserable gaming experiences I have ever encountered. Monsters of all shapes and sizes are always lurking around the corner, waiting to strike and end whatever traction you’ve gained in the game. Experience does not add up unless you make it to one of the game’s few safe havens. “Bloodborne” forces you to play by its rules and punishes you severely whenever you make even a slight mistake.
A massive “You Died” appears on the screen each time you fail, and it feels like the game is mocking me for even trying. The game seems to hate my guts, but I can’t put it down.
Every time I fail, I learn something new. Maybe I should have dodged left when the Freddy Kreuger-esque character charged at me instead of fighting him head on. Maybe I should have taken a different pathway. Each failure gives me an opportunity to learn something new about “Bloodborne” and about myself. The missteps make the game that much more worth it though, because the defeats add up to a much more satisfying experience when I finally achieve a goal.
Failure is as integral to any part of our lives as it is to “Bloodborne.” Whether it be a bad grade on a test, a rejection letter from a dream job or a poorly written Inside Column, failure is bound to occur at some point in our lives. Fortunately none of these missteps have a giant “You Died” message attached to them.
Rather, failure just means another opportunity to try again or the option to explore a new path. If we believe in ourselves, we can take these opportunities and make something wonderful out of them. So relax and take joy in failure, knowing that each defeat shapes us, and lets us grow into who we are meant to be.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.