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Mario Odyssey Discussion

This topic is for discussing Super Mario Odyssey (for Nintendo Switch).

Speedrunning this game is a good way to learn for people who have a hard time learning (~everyone) and who already like video games.

Single player games are best because you don't have to deal with other people. Other people are complicated and dealing with them is a big issue which distracts from the gameplay.

Single player games are mostly too easy. They don't challenge you enough. Speedrunning solves that problem by giving you a goal to work towards where taking on extra challenges gets you better results.

Mario Odyssey is a popular, modern game (in general and specifically for speedrunning) which is highly accessible (both for regular play and speedrunning). It has video guides for speedrunning, various speedrunners who stream on Twitch, and plenty of walkthroughs for regular play. It can easily be broken up into small parts to learn about one at a time, and you can practice a few minutes at a time and then pause. It's complex enough to have depth without being too complicated. It doesn't have much randomness or AI to deal with. It has some glitches but not a ton, and you don't need to do any until you're a very advanced speedrunner. The any% speedrun is a good length. Those are some reasons it's a good game choice. It's also beneficially if a bunch of philosophy-interested people play the same game so they can discuss it, so don't choose a different game that seems a little more appealing to you, it'd only make sense to play a different game if it was a lot better for you for some reason.

(Mario Odyssey has few downsides. The biggest one is it uses motion controls some. It also takes more work to record videos of console gameplay than Mac or PC gameplay, and you need a Switch.)

By playing Mario Odyssey, you can learn what it's like to get good and something and succeed. You can see how practice works and things that used to be hard become easy. Learn to practice efficiently. Learn to write down notes, to review videos (like other people's speedruns) and get useful help from them, and learn to remember a bunch of information. You can see what correcting errors is like. You can see what getting details right is like and succeed with high quality standards. You can see how to build up your skills. First you learn how to do basic movement. Then you practice until it doesn't take much attention anymore. Then you can learn harder combinations of movement which build on the basic things. Now that the basic things are easy for you, your attention is free to focus on combined sequences.

Speedrunning gives you clear metrics for success and failure, which makes it much easier to learn. Did you reach the location you were trying to jump to or fall down? What does the timer say about what you're doing? One of the main reasons people have trouble learning philosophy, and many other things, is because they don't know when they're doing it right or not. They want to fix their errors, but they don't know which things are errors and which are correct. With speedrunning, you can also compare what you did to videos of what faster runners and figure out specifically how your approach is inferior (so you don't just know that you made an error, you also can get good info about what to do differently).

Overall, doing everything may not be easy, but it's easier than learning philosophy. So if you're having a hard time learning philosophy, like most people, this is an easier place to begin. You can work on your ability to learn, find and fix errors, not get frustrated, be persistent over time, and so on, without the added difficulty of trying to understand hard philosophy ideas at the same time. Practice learning with something easier than philosophy so you aren't doing everything at once. And then, in the future, when you learn philosophy ideas about how to learn, you'll be able apply them to examples from your Mario Odyssey experience. This is something lots of people can do well, it doesn't take a "genius" (philosophy doesn't take a "genius" either but many people think it does).

You have to learn the game before you speedrun it. That's step one. Play it normally first and get used to it. If you start getting bored playing normally, or finish everything, then switch to practicing the speedrun.


Elliot Temple on May 13, 2019

Comments (22)

Assumes ability

Video games are not a good surrogate for philosophy for me. I have MS, so my fingers don't always do what I want. I may know precisely where I need to jump to, but not be able to jump there because I can't maneuver the cursor to the appropriate point. Intention tremors make even entering passwords difficult, and that's with no time limits. Even the concept of speedrunning is laughable; the tremors get worse if I'm in a hurry.

I wonder if there is some non-dexterity-critical, non-speed-critical exercise that is easier than learning philosophy but will help me to master needed skills.


Kennita at 5:48 PM on May 13, 2019 | #12368 | reply | quote

#12368 There are many, e.g. learning how to analyze writing, word by word, to know what it means. I'm working on some material about that. But I don't know of great options that don't directly involve other people *and* make it easy to check how well you're doing (like the speedrun timer). When you come up with an interpretation of some text, there's no easy way to check if you're right or not. When you judge that some grammar usage is correct or incorrect, again no easy way to check if you're right.

Here are some options which i don't really recommend, i don't think they're great answers for this:

- find a turn-based video game game (removes speed and dexterity) and aim for a high score. but i don't know what games are good to maximize score in. it'd need to have enough depth, complexity and competition regarding score.

- tool-assisted speed run. people speedrun games one frame at a time with tools that let them back up and redo stuff. no dexterity or speed required, just game knowledge to know what to do.

- learn chess (or another board or card game with good computer opponents) and play against a computer opponent which lets you set the difficulty level, and turn up the difficulty after you can win pretty consistently.

- learn to program. you can get automatic feedback from the compiler (e.g. syntax error). you can run the program and see if it appears to do what you wanted it to do. you can write your own automated tests to help check the program does what you want.

- do math or logic problems which can be computer checked for correctness, or which already have good answers available.

---

I've been thinking about this but don't have a great solution for people besides speedrunning. That's my best answer. The problem is stuff like reading books doesn't give people good enough feedback on how well they're understanding stuff. I've tried to solve that problem with discussion forums, which help but most people don't want to use them. You could try discussing more but many people find that hard for a variety of reasons.

If I come up with a great answer to this problem, I'll share it. I'm trying. The speedrun's timer is hard to match.


curi at 9:15 PM on May 13, 2019 | #12369 | reply | quote

#12369 There's also playing 1v1 strategy-based video games, against other humans, which aren't too fast paced, e.g. Hearthstone, and which have a ranking system you can climb as you improve. If your rank is climbing, you're doing better. Hearthstone has too much randomness and the rank system wasn't very good last time I checked (they mostly reset your rank every month, so getting a high rank requires playing a lot of hours instead of building up to it over time). Magic the Gathering is more complicated game with better game design and more skill involved. still a lot of luck. harder to get into, less accessible, pretty expensive (i don't know how much you have to spend on Hearthstone nowadays if you don't spend a ton of hours earning cards, but i'm pretty sure MtG is worse). a lot of board games and card games aren't 1v1 which causes a lot of problems, but chess and go are options with plenty of competition available online and which can be played at a slow pace. they're big and hard projects though, kinda daunting, and not that appealing for most people (way less popular than Mario), and basically one is a confused beginner for hundreds of hours with chess or go, at least, and most players never actually get very good.


curi at 9:22 PM on May 13, 2019 | #12370 | reply | quote

The reason I'm focusing on *games* this much is they have clear rules, both about actions allowed and about what is success or failure, winning or losing. and the game world is much smaller and easier to master than the real world.

Young children learn motor skills and get feedback from reality about things like whether they moved an object or it didn't move as intended, whether they walked to a location or fell down and didn't get there, and lots of other pretty direct, straightforward results. that's pretty good feedback on whether you're succeeding or not. you could try to do something kinda similar as an adult with, say, shooting a gun at a target (or throwing a frisbee at a target, maybe playing frisbee golf, or regular golf). you'd get good feedback on how well you aimed. but there are lots of complications like gun quality and sights quality. and you kinda have to set your own goals. and it's a bit too simple of an activity in some ways, not enough strategy involved. hunting has more complexity and strategy, but less clear outcomes – you can go for days and not see the animal you're looking for, then miss because you only saw it at a distance and never got a good shot. and you have to live in the right place or travel. and you have to be in physical condition to do outdoors stuff like that, and be happy to. video games let you quickly reset and retry things, they make practicing convenient, whereas there's no way to spend an hour practicing shooting the same rabbit over and over and get hundreds of tries.


curi at 9:39 PM on May 13, 2019 | #12371 | reply | quote

I liked this video about speedrunning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV7cAQBsMjo


curi at 1:07 PM on May 14, 2019 | #12380 | reply | quote

#12369

>The problem is stuff like reading books doesn't give people good enough feedback on how well they're understanding stuff. I've tried to solve that problem with discussion forums, which help but most people don't want to use them.

Curi, would you be willing to do a "reading group discussion" here on OPAR ("Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand")? One chapter per week for example.

That could get a group of people to read the same content and discuss and learn from it in a better way.

You could guide us in advance - e.g. asking a question about the next chapter, or give pointers that are beneficial to learning new material.


Nikola at 12:26 AM on May 15, 2019 | #12388 | reply | quote

You are welcome to try to organize a reading group. I think if people aren't already reading and analyzing texts on their own initiative and schedule, making it a collaboration won't fix the problem.

If you say something substantive about OPAR, or have a question, many FI regulars could respond to you without having joined any group or having already read that chapter that week. Either they'd already have comments on the issue offhand or could quickly review specific, relevant passages (it's pretty common for the good posters to review book pages while writing a post, and to find those book pages themselves without being told).

For many years, I've encouraged people to read and discuss books, and I've explained how and why, and I've been available to answer questions and discuss a wide variety of books. People largely aren't interested.

Some people will fake interest due to a "reading group" in order to try to fit in with a social group. Some people think being pressured to read a chapter every week by other people will solve their motivation problems (the lack of their own motor). Or they want a teacher to tell them what to do – which is a role I don't want.


curi at 1:45 AM on May 15, 2019 | #12389 | reply | quote

#12389

>You are welcome to try to organize a reading group. I think if people aren't already reading and analyzing texts on their own initiative and schedule, making it a collaboration won't fix the problem.

>If you say something substantive about OPAR, or have a question, many FI regulars could respond to you without having joined any group or having already read that chapter that week. Either they'd already have comments on the issue offhand or could quickly review specific, relevant passages (it's pretty common for the good posters to review book pages while writing a post, and to find those book pages themselves without being told).

My reason for proposing doing it in group format is to raise and explore more questions. I might for example have two major questions on a particular chapter and someone else two different questions. Even though other people's questions aren't my primary questions they could turn out to be crucial for my understanding of the content better.

I am yet to start reading OPAR, but your suggestion of posting questions in the FI discussion group (if I understood you correctly) would be the second best thing (lacking the benefit of other people's questions).

Maybe someone else joins in once I start though - who knows.

>For many years, I've encouraged people to read and discuss books, and I've explained how and why, and I've been available to answer questions and discuss a wide variety of books. People largely aren't interested.

Yes, I know. Your arguments on the **What Books Should You Read?** (https://fallibleideas.com/books) have convinced me that there are far superior ways to learn from books than the way I'm used to: purely reading them. I'd rather improve than continue as before.

>*It’s very easy to misunderstand books you read. And a misunderstanding on page 2 can lead to a further misunderstanding on page 5 which causes another misunderstanding on page 8. You should expect to form over 100 misunderstandings per book-about-ideas you read alone. To do better, discuss books as you read them (don’t wait until the end of the book). Join the Fallible Ideas discussion group and share what you’re learning. The helpful membership has people who already understand these books and can offer corrections.*


Nikola at 5:45 AM on May 15, 2019 | #12391 | reply | quote

Reading Groups

#12391 Posting to the FI forum or curi forum doesn't really matter. Either is fine. The regular FI posters read the curi forum if interested.

> My reason for proposing doing it in group format is to raise and explore more questions. I might for example have two major questions on a particular chapter and someone else two different questions.

If someone else has any questions, I would expect them to *already have posted those questions* in the past. You can find them in the archives. Their reading of OPAR doesn't need to be time-synchronized with yours. If they read OPAR 2 or 20 years before you, or 2 or 20 years after, neither of you should wait for the other person. And whoever goes second can benefit from what the person who went first already said. (And whoever goes first can benefit from the comments of whoever goes second, if the first person is still alive and interested in ideas.)

Similarly, if someone wanted to read OPAR (and preferred it over all alternative books), in general they already would have, rather than doing it right now to match your schedule. Or if they will read it but haven't yet gotten to it, in general they will get to it at some random time in the future which doesn't match when you read it. While there are some upsides to synchronized reading, they generally aren't significant enough to get first-handed people to make major scheduling changes (e.g. read a book a year or more earlier or later).

Also, the pace people read books at varies. If I were going to reread OPAR right now, I might finish the whole book in a week, while you take 12 weeks. I read *Time Will Run Back* by Hazlitt yesterday, all in one day. My personal reading record for one day is 2.5 times the number of words in OPAR.

Anyway, think of it like the OPAR book club *already started* in 1994 (when this online discussion community first started with the TCS email list on AOL) and people can contribute more to it at any time. The reading group was opened at that time, available to be discussed. The group for every other book was also opened then (except the books that were published after that like BoI). Then, judging by a quick search, it was in 2011 that people made the first contributions to OPAR book club. Now dozens of contributions have accumulated. It'd be hard to get more with a fresh book club, that starts next week, even if people wanted to join it. And some people are simultaneously available to discuss OPAR and hundreds of other books at any time, and have been for years – you can think of them as members of many book clubs at once because they are prepared to discuss those books (even though they won't start a full rereading right now and try to time it along with you, which they don't actually need to do in order to discuss).

If you post about OPAR and the posts interest people, they may want to read the book (if they haven't) to join the discussion, or they may reread some passages in order to reply better. I think those are better approaches than trying to set up a scheduled reading group.


curi at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2019 | #12393 | reply | quote

#12393 Valid points. Thanks. I'll bring my upcoming questions on OPAR (and other books) to the Open Discussion forum on curi forum.


Nikola at 10:08 PM on May 15, 2019 | #12400 | reply | quote

Here's the first post of Nikola's OPAR reading, so that people can see what came of the reading group discussion above:

http://curi.us/1857-open-thread-objectivism-discussion#c12418


Anonymous at 12:48 PM on May 17, 2019 | #12424 | reply | quote

I tried playing Super Mario Odyssey. I know someone who already had the game and was willing to help me get started using their game.

I hadn't played this kind of game before although I had seen other people play similar games in the past. I had to be shown how to turn on the Switch, what the buttons on the controller were, etc.

I played for about 40 minutes and got through the first level. I beat the first boss by just pressing random buttons until it died. If I play again I might try the first level again and practice some basic things some more, like running and jumping.

I did experience some motion sickness. I was playing on a giant screen. Maybe I'd feel better playing on a smaller screen.

I also felt some pain in my left shoulder in the same spot that I've had trouble with before from other kinds of video games. Maybe that could be helped by holding the controller in a different position or something.


Anne B at 3:38 PM on May 17, 2019 | #12428 | reply | quote

Race in Lake kingdom

I watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02sGSuDX_n0

I already got first place without watching any videos. I got 1:21.31 that way.

the video shows a much faster way. it involves lots of cap jumps. it gets 24 seconds.

I had to rewatch part of this video on how to do arial cap jumps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7HZT2lmL04

Then I had to rewatch the first part of the race video. I successfully combined a triple jump (which gives the most height) and a cap jump to get past the first hard part (getting up to a tall cliff).

Then I died and had to restart the race. This time I was able to successfully combine a roll, a long jump, a triple-jump, and a cap jump, in that order, in order to get from the start of the race to the top of the cliff.

Next steps: more of the lake kingdom race


GISTE at 7:56 AM on May 18, 2019 | #12431 | reply | quote

GISTE

#12431

> Then I had to rewatch the first part of the race video. I successfully combined a triple jump (which gives the most height) and a cap jump to get past the first hard part (getting up to a tall cliff).

> Then I died and had to restart the race. This time I was able to successfully combine a roll, a long jump, a triple-jump, and a cap jump, in that order, in order to get from the start of the race to the top of the cliff.

I tried to do this again. I tried about 25 times before I got on the cliff. I tried 10 more times and got on there once.

so then I stopped doing that and tried only to do cap jumps for a while. just over and over again in a circle. I was able to get it right 3 out of 4 times. I did it so much that my hand muscles started hurting. so I took a break.


Race in Lake kingdom - part 2 at 5:31 PM on May 19, 2019 | #12440 | reply | quote

Race in Lake kingdom - part 3

#12440

this time I started by practicing arial cap jumps in a circle. I figured out something about how I press X and Y with my thumb. what I do now is this:

at the height of a jump, throw cappy and hold it (press and hold X). this keeps cappy stationary, ready for Mario to launch off of cappy.

after having thrown cappy, press and hold ZL. this initiates a ground pound. so Mario does a tumble. but before he starts moving downward, after Mario has done his full tumble in the air, press Y, but don't remove thumb from X (so for a moment I'm pressing X and Y). then continue holding on Y as Mario lands on cappy and jumps off of it. I can get another dive out of this by removing my thumb from X and pressing/holding it again and then pressing Y too.

now I'm doing arial cap jumps about 9 out of 10 times.

so then I tried to get back on the cliff (the first part of the race). I did a lot better this time. I'm getting it right 50% of the time. mostly what's stopping me is getting Mario at a certain point by the end of his triple jump. often times I'm either too close to the ledge, so I crash into the cliff during my arial cap jump, or I'm too far from the ledge, so my arial cap jump doesn't get me close enough to the ledge.

I went ahead to the next hard part. I gotta do a triple jump and arial cap jump. this one seems harder than the first one.

Next steps: practice the first 2 hard parts of lake kingdom race


GISTE at 5:03 AM on May 20, 2019 | #12442 | reply | quote

using both cap buttons isn't necessary. try it both ways and see what you prefer (and try to find out what speedrunners do – if they all do it the same way, do that. if they do a variety then you can pick). the cap stays out for a certain amount of time without holding the cap button. if you let go and repress (and then hold) the button during that time, it stays out. you can dive that way using one cap button. that's what i do. you can test how that works on the ground to see when the cap button has to be held for the cap to stay out.

after you do the first cap jump, you can dive without throwing your cap a second time. throwing the cap again, even though you won't jump on it, is helpful if you need to change directions.

also triple jump is only a tiny bit higher than alternatives. in most cases, you can use a different jump to make it easier. try it with every type of jump and compare.


curi at 10:31 AM on May 20, 2019 | #12450 | reply | quote

Race in Lake kingdom - part 4

#12450

I tried the single cap-button way and yeah it's better.

this session I got past the 2nd hard part of the race. I did a triple jump, a cap jump, then threw cappy and dived.

then I tried to get past both hard parts together. I did this 3 times. on the 3rd time I got 57.36 seconds. it should have been more like 24 seconds but I messed up a few times at the 2nd hard part.

Next steps: try to get past both hard parts under ~30 seconds.


GISTE at 5:10 AM on May 21, 2019 | #12455 | reply | quote

Race in Lake kingdom - part 5

#12455

I practiced some cap jumps first. Then I did the full race.

I got 49.74.

Then 34.79.

Then 31.29.

Then 31.95.

There were lots of tries in between where I quit because I messed up so much that I wasn't going to beat my PR.

I think this is good enough to move on to other stuff. I could come back to the race later when I'm better.


GISTE at 4:47 AM on May 22, 2019 | #12472 | reply | quote

Race in Lake kingdom - part 6/7

#12472

last night I was gonna move on to other stuff but when it was time to do Mario again, I wanted to see what I could do in the race.

I did about 30 or 45 minutes of trying. I was a little bit better or roughly the same during the first half of it. I got a new PR of 31.22sec. then I noticed I was getting worse. I felt my hand muscles getting tired. (I think I press on the controllers too hard. Sleepy told me a while ago that I press on the iPad too hard too.)

Today I tried again. I was surprised to find out that on my first try, I got 34.28. On all previous sessions, it took a few tries before I could even complete the race.


GISTE at 3:56 AM on May 23, 2019 | #12483 | reply | quote

Moons in Wooded kingdom moons - part 1

I got these by following a tutorial [1]:

- 6. BACK WAY UP THE MOUNTAIN

- 10. ATOP A TALL TREE

I got these as I noticed them while I was working on the moons above:

- Timer challenge 1

- Glowing in the deep woods

- Exploring for treasure

- Beneath the roots of the moving tree

- Deep woods treasure trap

[1] https://www.polygon.com/super-mario-odyssey-guide-walkthrough/2017/11/3/16581820/wooded-kingdom-power-moon-locations-names#UaICWP


GISTE at 4:40 AM on May 23, 2019 | #12484 | reply | quote

#12483

Are you going to try to not press so hard?


Anonymous at 5:49 AM on May 23, 2019 | #12485 | reply | quote

Moons in Wooded kingdom - part 2

#12484

Using the same tutorial [1] I got these moons:

- 11. TUCKED AWAY INSIDE A TUNNEL. I couldn’t find this one by the description. I had to lookup a video. And then I had to find a seed to grow the ladder-vine. I had a pretty good idea of where to find it. Done.

- 13. THE NUT ‘ROUND THE CORNER

- 14. CLIMB THE CLIFF TO GET THE NUT

- 15. THE NUT IN THE RED MAZE. I had to watch a video to find out where the red maze is. I also saw some moon shards, so I got all 5 and got a moon for it.

- 16. THE NUT AT THE DEAD END. I had to watch 2 videos (the first didn’t show the general area of where to go).

- 17. CRACKED NUT ON A CRUMBLING TOWER

- 18. THE NUT THAT GREW ON THE TALL FENCE. I had to watch a video for this again to find where to go.

- 19. FIRE IN THE CAVE

- 20. HEY OUT THERE, CAPTAIN TOAD!

- 22. INSIDE THE ROCK IN THE FOREST

- 26. SPINNING-PLATFORMS TREASURE

- 27. MAKE THE SECRET FLOWER FIELD BLOOM

- 28. ROLLING ROCK IN THE DEEP WOODS

These moons I found while getting the ones above:

- Taking Notes: Stretching

- Taking Notes: on top of the wall

- High up on a rock wall

[1] https://www.polygon.com/super-mario-odyssey-guide-walkthrough/2017/11/3/16581820/wooded-kingdom-power-moon-locations-names#UaICWP


GISTE at 7:58 AM on May 23, 2019 | #12486 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)