Image: Level-5, IGDB

Listen to your Professors, never skive off of cutscenes

When you start at Warwick, you may think that this is the first time you’ll come across a gaming professor – however, if you’re a gamer, you’re likely to have met loads. What’s more, although you may not have realised it, the things that these scholars have taught you throughout your playthroughs have great real-world use, especially as you begin your first year at university – let’s look at a few of them, and see how they can help your Warwick experience.

Our journey begins in the world of Pokémon. As each game begins, your first meeting is with the learned scholar of the region you live in – the most famous of these is Red and Blue’s Professor Oak, but we’ve seen a varied cast over the years. These professors serve primarily by giving you your starter Pokémon, but they also try to instill certain values that will help make your journey all the more enjoyable – a key one is the value of friendship. At the Indigo Plateau in the original games, Oak comments on the player’s maturity and the rival’s loss and attributes both to their stance on friendship. The lesson is a simple one – the friends you make at university will help see you through challenges, and the experiences you share with stay with you long after you graduate.

in your dark days, remember that you’ll make it through

The professors also encourage you to research, completing the Pokédex in a grand adventure – if you fall into a good groove at Warwick, it can feel like that. But sometimes you hit the wall, facing a difficult challenge or a situation that you’re not entirely sure how to get through. In these cases, think of the reassuring words of paranormal investigator Professor E. Gadd – in Luigi’s Mansion, he encourages notorious coward Luigi to investigate a mansion full of ghosts despite his fears. Gadd keeps cropping up throughout the game, telling Luigi that he’s doing great and he’s going to succeed to in his quest – in your dark days, remember that you’ll make it through.

Image: Level-5, IGDB

Onto actual degree work, and leading archaeology scholar and puzzle solver Professor Hershel Layton may have some wise words for you. One of the joys of the Professor Layton games is that they help you to adapt your thinking, and break free from preconceptions – many of the puzzles in the games give you some rules, and you trap yourself by assuming others. A good example of this is a puzzle that really stumped me – The Lazy Guard, from Professor Layton and the Curious Village – which asks you to find a route with the fewest number of turns.

Solving this puzzle involves you properly reading the question and understanding what it wants, and failing to fall into the trap it sets for you – the ability to critically analyse questions and texts will serve you well throughout your degree, no matter what subject you study. And, if you’re completely stuck on something, remember another of Layton’s mantras: “Every puzzle has a solution.” Although work can seem tough, and you may not always be certain of how to proceed, it’s always possible to come up with an answer.

if you’re completely stuck on something, remember another of Layton’s mantras: “Every puzzle has a solution.”

Sometimes, though, it involves a lot of hard work. Some people will swear by it, but I’m not a fan of the cramming method – if you work a little each day, chipping away at assignments and taking time to understand what you’re studying, it normally works out better in the long term. A key advocate of this is Dr Kawashima, of Brain Training fame – the game is intended to be played a little each day to keep your mind sharp, and applying that same system and discipline to your revision will serve you well.

The things that these gaming professors have already taught you will help you out no end when you arrive at uni – just remember their lessons, and your time at Warwick should be a good one.


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