Sunday, August 30, 2020

Don't Let Lack of Ability Stop You From Trying

I genuinely suck at video games.

2019
#
STATUS
1
none
2
none
3
none
4
none
5
none
6
partial
7
partial
8
partial
9
partial
10
none
11
none
2018
#
STATUS
1
solved
2
partial
3
solved
4
partial
5
solved
6
solved
7
partial
8
none
2017
#
STATUS
1
none
2
none
3
none
4
none
5
none
6
partial
7
none
8
none
Most games are some variant on resource management, reflex, and memorization. Pretty much everything could be justified to falling under some combination of those.

CCG? Resource management and memorization.
Strategy? Reflex and resource management.
FPS? Racing? Reflex and memorization.
Survival? Combination of all three.

I could keep going...

I generally prefer open world type games because I can ditch the story line and just explore the world. Imagine getting a party together for adventuring (like Dungeons and Dragons), and one of your players decides to buy a tavern or become a merchant instead. That's me.

I'm the same way for puzzles. I'm not particularly good at them, but I do them anyway. It's a great excuse to stretch your mind in ways it's not used to stretching, especially if you usually spend your days doing something drab and boring like opening boxes for 40 hours a week.

Everybody has different expertise and sometimes you get lucky.

A good puzzle defies language barriers, cultural barriers, preconceived notions, and just allows you to try to see something from a new angle. Considering one of the purposes of this blog is to share my own perspectives of the world (which seem familiar at worst and unintelligible at best), it's a handy exercise.

Being that September is just around the corner, I thought this was the perfect time to introduce you to (or remind you if you've participated before but forgot when it was coming) the Harvard/Yale CS50x Puzzle Day Challenge.

I know the Harvard/Yale bit seems pretty daunting, but they're all still human, and not necessarily brighter or better than the rest of us.

CS50x is their CompSci Intro to Programming course, though programming isn't necessary to any solutions.

Just... ignore everything else but the "puzzle" and "challenge" bits, because it's not important. (It's not even a one-day thing either, so even the word "day" is a misnomer.)

Here's this year's sign up link and here's last year's puzzles

If those look too frightening and scary, well, that's what teams are for. Everybody has different expertise and sometimes you get lucky.

Warning: these links below contain full or partial solutions, or compete distractions from the actual solutions.
In 2019, I made partial progress on 4 puzzles, and solved none of them.
In 2018, I solved four, made partial progress on 3 others.
In 2017, I made partial progress on 1 puzzle.

In 2020, I'd like to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and I'd love for you to join me. Or not. It's up to you. If you'd like to join me, check out my Contact page, and include CS50x Puzzle Day in the subject line.

Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck!

The puzzles drop this Friday, 4 September 2020, so don't dilly dally. Final submissions (if you want a certificate) close Monday, 7 September 2020.


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