Ninja Get Good: My Ultimate Guide To Gaming by Tyler Blevins (book review).

There seems to be a growing abundance of ‘how to-’ gaming books coming out now. When you consider commissioning books can take at least 18 months to get together, then publishers have been looking ahead for some time now. This is the first time I’ve head of Tyler Blevins who uses the name of ‘Ninja’ in the various digital computer games he plays.

Then again, I doubt if he’s heard of me, neither. He must be popular with the publishers as there’s many pictures of him throughout the book, ‘Ninja Get Good: My Ultimate Guide To Gaming’. I do get concerned about the mess of wires under his computer table on the last page photograph though. We all have some untidy habits with computers but if ever there was an example of a need for tidy wiring, this is it.

Ninja: Get Good
Ninja: Get Good

Anyway, Blevins doesn’t specialise or focus on any particular game here although does add advice on about 6 of them from time to time. I’ll point out the odd things I learnt. He points out the advantages of a mechanical keyboard against a membrane keyboard. Oddly, it’s the main reason why I choose them for touch typing on as it prevents the wrong or right key being misinterpreted. Membranes only became popular because it made for smaller flatter keyboards but they aren’t designed for heavy use, which also applies to computer games.

His point about using a gaming mouse as opposed to a standard mouse has made me think to try that out to see if it makes any difference. I haven’t used mine for a year but dug it out and gave ‘Fortnight’ a go with it. Yes, it is a bit finer but the wheel selector is a bit freer flicking between weapons so I can see his reasoning. Mind you, if you’re missing your target all the time, it might be in how you approach aiming and the ballistic level of the weapons in the games you play as he shows in this book. Only practice will improve your gameplay.

There’s several myths about computer games not being healthy for you that he gives some answers for that should calm relatives down, although I think everything in moderation is just as safe and your gameplay is likely to go up if you take a break from it than play continually.

It’s very weird that although I’ve played computer games for a very long time, this is the first time I’ve come across the terms ‘twitch’ as in website and ‘streaming’ but as they are for use showing your gameplay to other people where I have no interest. I’m a player not a watcher. Even so, I can understand Blevins need to explain it for those who need to use it for professional gaming and that includes being nice to your fans. It did make me wonder if there were any obnoxious pro-players out there and whether they had any followings? It happens in other kinds of games and you do have to wonder when it’s going to happen here. Then again, a bad player would probably be thought of someone not good at the game. After all, outside of squads, we are all rivals likely to play dirty tricks, like ambushing, if we can.

I’m glad he’s explored Internet speeds but mostly in frames per second on the screen against screen resolution. It goes along with what I’ve said previously that whatever your equipment, the bottleneck is always going to be Internet speed.

You’ll note that I’ve been focusing on things I know a lot more about than things I’m less familiar with. I did come away knowing a lot more on the subject. In some respects, I’m probably regarded as a shy retiring player and don’t go verbal on the likes of ‘Fortnite’ than having a desire to public exposure. However, the escalation of on-line computer gaming means more people making a living from it but always keep in mind you have to be consistently good at it to do that and the competition is tough.

One last thought, as I edited the above, books such as this and used by upcoming pro-game players are going to create rivals to the top. So how long will it be before the pros decide they need to keep something up their digital sleeves to ensure they stay at the top?

GF Willmetts

August 2019

(pub: Ebury Press/Penguin/Random House. 159 page illustrated indexed medium hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-52910-479-0)

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