The Typing of the Dead: Backward

I assume this game would be easy for someone who already knows how to touch-type. I can imagine a professional typist breezing through the whole thing on their first try without losing a single life. I personally never learned touch-typing, and had no real intention of doing so. Like many computer users, I had developed a certain amount of familiarity with the keyboard simply through using it a lot, and considered that adequate. I bought this game for its novelty, not its educational value. That’s why I set it aside for so long.

totd-heirophantIn fact, to the extent that I ever thought about it, I always more or less assumed that I was pretty close to being a touch-typist just from practice. It wasn’t until I started playing this game, years ago, that I understood how wrong I was. You just don’t notice how frequently you look at your hands to reposition them. Like blinking, it’s not something you’re aware of doing. Not until you try to refrain from doing it. Even apart from the mere presence of zombies, the game uses various tricks to punish you for looking away from the screen, such as bonus items that you can collect by pressing the right single key during the fraction of a second they’re available, and a trick boss on level 2 that goes through invulnerable phases where your keystrokes have no effect. Typing the way I had been typing was a handicap in these situations.

Still, I wasn’t terribly interested in learning to type properly. The only practical advantage I see to it is that it lets you keep your hands under a blanket while you blog on a cold winter night. So I really only took an interest in trying to touch-type when I realized that I’d eventually want to beat this game in order to remove it from the Stack. Well, the game contains some basic tutorials explaining the home position and which fingers go with which keys. With this knowledge, all I needed was practice. And so, for more than a year now, I’ve been going about things backward, trying to touch-type in my day-to-day life in order to be better at this stupid game.

totd-scoreboardBut I suppose that an educational game is working if you wind up educated because of it, regardless of exactly how it happens, and I can assert that it’s been something of a success. I’m still far from the skill level of my hypothetical professional typist, but I’m doing a lot better than I was the last time I had this game installed. The scoring screens displayed after every level have me pegged at just above average right now.

1 Comment so far

  1. paul on 18 Apr 2008

    hard. core.

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