Kaede, also known by her character name “Maple” in the VRMMO New World Online, barely knows anything about video games. She only got it in the first place because her competitive gamer friend Risa/”Sally” wanted to play it with her as a fun bonding activity, and so she has no preconceived notions of how games are supposed to be played. Maple decides to put all of her skill points into defense so she doesn’t have to take damage, and thus begins her carefree journey of accidental success in BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense!
Even though she isn’t playing it “correctly”, Maple still has a great time making friends and cheesing the game’s quests with her maxed-out build. So what real-life lessons can we take away from this anime? Let’s check out what we can learn from Maple’s happy-go-lucky playstyle!
It’s Not All About Competition
Games like Pokémon, Super Smash Bros, and League of Legends have intense competitive scenes with their own high-profile tournaments and strategic metagames, but there’s no reason that you have to pay attention to that. Characters like Sally and the highest leveled player Payne, who clearly do care about min-maxing their stats and paying close attention to the newest updates, could probably trounce Maple in a battle of pure skill. However, Maple isn’t getting anything less out of her gaming experience than they are, and Sally is quick to acknowledge that. If you’ve ever been made fun of for not EV training your Pokémon or learning how to wave dash in Super Smash Bros. Melée, just remember that you’re enjoying the game the way you want to.
Making Friends is The Best Part
Many of us have made some of our best friends through playing online games together, and Maple’s story is no different. She goes up to random users and chats them up about the game, surprising the veterans with her innocent charm and honest desire for human connection. By the time she and Sally secure a guild house, their entourage has grown to include half a dozen people who probably would never have met each other otherwise. Maple also showers her virtual pet turtle Syrup with affection, grinding up its skill levels so she can turn it into a gigantic flying mount just because she wanted to help it achieve its dreams. Some of the most memorable parts of games can come from genuinely caring about the fictional characters involved, as well as meeting other real players and forming lasting relationships with them.
Sometimes, Games Are Just Broken
New World Online is a very obviously broken game, since the developers didn’t account for unorthodox users like Maple completely going against what most players would do. They’ve had to introduce patches to nerf Maple’s abilities, especially after she passively destroyed every player who faced her in the first server-wide event. Broken and buggy games aren’t what developers want to present to their userbase, but they can be hilarious to play and can make newbies like Maple into accidental powerhouses for straying off of the intended path. If you ever get frustrated with an online game for having wildly unbalanced combat or bugging out at inopportune moments, perhaps try thinking of the situation as a comical fluke that could never happen in a more polished game. It may not be fair, but it’s certainly funny.
Maple is the kind of person we should all aspire to be when we play video games. She’s kindhearted to both other players and the characters in the game, innocent enough to try out odd strategies that more experienced users would never think of, and doesn’t care that she isn’t playing New World Online “correctly”. Actually, can she just be our best friend?
What did you think of our overview? Do you play video games more like Maple or more like Sally? Do you think you’ll change your view of games based on BOFURI’s irresistible charm? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!