Reduce Needless Obstacles and Win at Life

Speedrun (v): To play through a video game as quickly as possible, taking advantage of any shortcuts and manipulating game mechanics in unusual or unexpected ways.
Speedrunning is all about utter simplicity and finding ways to hack the game mechanics. By hacking, I don’t mean actually changing the code of the game using something like a Game Genie. But the great speedrunners are able to shave fractions of a second off of their time by understanding how sprites activate and finding ways to meddle with the built in random number generators.
I watched a speedrun of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link recently, and it occurred to me that I had played it all wrong as a kid. I had built a set of rules in my mind that I thought I needed to play under, making the game more difficult than necessary.
Watching player run from most enemy encounters in Zelda II, rather than fighting through them, made me think: why did I engage so many of these enemies?

This image was burned into my retinas as a kid.
We do this with life, too.
I think it comes from early play as children, learning to make and enforce rules in games, usually because the object is to make the game “fair”.
I think we do that because of an innate desire for justice combined with wanting to play games as long as possible. Lopsided competitions aren’t very fun, so we eliminate tactics that seem “cheap” as kids.
And we continue doing that in life.
I often fight enemies I don’t need to. One example: taxes. Living in California means I have both a high cost of living as well as high taxes. I can, however, reduce my taxable income by maxing out my 401(k), which is maybe not as exciting as picking stocks, but results in the government taking less of my money every paycheck. Putting as much money as possible into my 401(k) is one hack that results in an instant boost to net worth (at the cost of less free cash). Contribution matching is also an easy hack.

But it took me longer to actually do this than it should have. I was making my life harder than necessary.

Other Hacks:
In the crypto world, once I realized Steem Power could be delegated, I saw it as a sort of cheat code that I could use to steadily increase my returns. While the price of Steem has fallen with the overall cryptocurrency market, I’ve been able to increase my holdings of Steem. I’ve also sold some Steem and put it towards other projects I’m interested in, making Steem a capital generator. This is how I expect many on Steem to act, and it is the return on Steem powered up that will draw in more speculators.
When looking at life as if I’m hacking/speedrunning a game, I realize that I often say “no” for silly reasons. And yet, those reasons are often based on arbitrary rules I made up that have no basis in virtue: it seems like a “cheap” way to win, and therefore it must be wrong somehow.

But that’s not necessarily the case. While it is important to have an alarm bell in your head when you hear “easy money”, you should also discern when that money is actually easy to make, and when it may result in ill gotten gains.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are creating new ways to make money online, and some of those ways aren’t terribly difficult…especially if you already have an online presence (YouTube, WordPress, etc). Steem is the cheat code I’ve been most successful with; Brave Publishing is another one.

Click this lion to become a Brave Publisher for free. Also, I’ll get a handful of Basic Attention Tokens if you use this referral link. It costs you nothing to sign up now.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can stack Steem and Brave rewards to earn cryptocurrency as you publish content, let me know. I’ll be putting together a resource page soon with links to all the information you’ll need, and I’ll also be putting together some paid packages that will include full service account setup and consulting-a great deal for influencers who already have thousands of followers/subscribers and have more money than time. In the meantime, leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter for more information.

Overly exuberant investors and speculators desperately want you to use their platforms right now. It’s time to use this cheat code to speed run your way to some easy money.


Interested in optimizing your Steem experience? Do you want to learn more about the Steem blockchain and how Steemit works? Click my logo below for a deep dive on Steem:

Steem Monsters: Gaming on Steem!

The Steem Monster game is already a success for creators @yabapmatt and @aggroed, with over $40,000 in SBD and Steem raised in the past two weeks to buy cards. There are plenty of great card pack opening videos already shared by fellow Steemians; click the steemmonsters tag below to see some of them and take a look at the product.

(Read my interview with @yabapmatt here.)

Overall, looks very slick! It is also incredibly easy to use. I’ll leave the superlatives to other posters, but I really like everything I’ve seen about this so far. For those interested, you can buy a starter pack for $5 (which gives you the cards necessary for playing a game) and then boosters are $2. These prices are likely to rise after the pre-sale. $2 gets you 5 cards, with at least one guaranteed rare card. Card rarity is as such: Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary.

The designers are both witnesses and huge boons to the Steem blockchain, so if you haven’t yet used all your witness votes, you might consider looking at them and rewarding their efforts (this costs you nothing).

As witnesses and steemians, the game designers are also very much community focused, and have already begun using meta in Steem to work into the game. This is going to be a party for everyone on Steem to participate in.

An ultra rare Legendary card, Lightning Dragon.

Is this sustainable?
Here’s the million Steem question: is the current Steem Monsters craze indicative of a great product, or is it driven, like Crypto Kitties, more by speculation and the desire to get in before the crowd?
This is a question every speculator needs to ask, as the actual game mechanics are not yet available, and the replayability of the game is unknown. However, there are some things we do know:

  1. Sending card packs/cards to other users is free. Combining cards-an ingenuous way to avoid stacks of common trash cards-is free. There are no gas fees like Crypto Kitties and other ETH based games have, and it’s really nice.
  2. Actually buying and aquiring new packs is fairly easy, and maybe a good opportunity for Steemians to begin to learn how to use Vessel.
  3. This is the sort of idea that EOS has sold itself on: instant, feeless transactions. Steem Monsters growing in popularity now, as the EOS genesis block is close to going live, is great timing for Steem and represents opportunities to bring in new users from the CCG (collectible card game) space.

Some things I’d like to see
I played Magic the Gathering in high school, and my first few packs were from the Unlimited release (Alpha, Limited, then Unlimited before Revised). Over time, cards were reprinted in great number, but the particulars of Alpha, Limited and Unlimited cards (limited quantity; some stylistic differences) made them worth more than their Revised counterparts. Cards were listed by their values in different releases, for example: $8, $4, $2.40, $0.60 (for A, L, U, R).
This is something that could be done with Steem Monsters. Maybe a particular change is added to cards that are sold after the pre-sale, that allows game players to show off they were INB4 when playing in tournaments, which might also raise the collectibility of the cards. It’s a bit like having a Gen 0 Crypto Kitty…but not having to spend thousands of dollars for it. People love this kind of thing and I’ve written before about vanity tokens.
I’d also like to see a Steem Monsters skin for the, which would seamlessly show a Steemian’s cards when viewing their blog. Players could select which cards to highlight. This seems like it could be done without too much difficulty, but I’m not a web designer and don’t know what would be required for this to work.

Of course, the holy grail would be an app for iOS and Android. While I didn’t see that on the official roadmap, I’m sure it has crossed the minds of the developers as a potential.
In closing, Steem Monsters is a great way to introduce card game fans into Steem, and even more importantly, show off Steem as a great platform for blockchain based games. I look forward to seeing what comes from this project and others that find inspiration from it.

Interested in optimizing your Steem experience? Do you want to learn more about the Steem blockchain and how Steemit works? Click my logo below for a deep dive on Steem: