‘Splatoon’ Global Testfire: A Lesson in Patience

splatoonWhen we heard that Nintendo was having another Global Testfire of their upcoming game Splatoon on May 23rd, there was a lot of excitement at our house. My husband and eight-year-old daughter had played an earlier Testfire and had both talked up the game ever since. I was anxious to see it for myself and give the game a try.

Unfortunately, this Global Testfire began with the wrong kind of splat: flat on its inky face. There were server issues that kept us in limbo and gave us a myriad of error messages. The eight-year-old went from happy and excited to deflated and grumpy with in a few minutes and the adults were right behind her. Nintendo wasn’t sending out any information or reassurances either, which was doubly frustrating.

We offered our own reassurances. “This is part of why they do this kind of test, honey, so they find out about these problems and fix them.” She scowled and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yeah, but it just really annoys me.” Us, too, honey.

But Bryants don’t give up.  That’s one of the main virtues we try to instill in our children: perseverance and patience. So, while we waited and Dad looked online to see what help he could find, the littlest Bryant played the tutorial again and showed me how the game worked. Like many young children, she loves a turn at being the teacher. She gleefully showed me which buttons did what and painted the entire set orange. “It’s an instinct!” she shouted. “I have to ink the trees.” To which her father responded “You can’t swim up a tree, by the way.”

It’s true, you can’t swim up the trees, but the game is great fun. When we finally got in, by practicing patience and perseverance, we got to play several rounds of a fast-paced and intense, but funny territory grab. I’m terrible at driving in these types of games. If there’s a ledge you can drive over and fall, I’ll find it, but I am good at strategy and a good team player. My daughter and I played together by trading jobs each time someone “died.” The person who wasn’t driving would read the map and offer advice on which way to go and how to help the team.

It ended up being a fun hour or so, once Nintendo got everything working, and we will certainly be buying the game for our family. And Nintendo’s tech difficulties unwittingly gave us an opportunity to show our child how patience and perseverance can pay off in fun. All in all, I’d say it was a win.

Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day, and a novelist by night. Her Menopausal Superheroes series is available from Curiosity Quills Press. You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1