Sunday, May 9, 2010
Qwerty is to Steno as Tetris is to This Guy
Quick post, because I'm in the middle of a marathon transcription session -- three hours of audio due before tomorrow morning. I keep from going out of my mind with boredom by running playthroughs of video games on my other monitor, so I can watch them out of the corner of my eye during pauses between words, changes in speakers, ums and uhs -- that sort of thing. In putting together my video playlist, I stumbled across this video.
As most of you are probably aware, beginners play Tetris by thinking each move, then doing it: Left, left, up, up, right, down, et cetera. More advanced players hold down the keys until they repeat and then learn to release them at just the right moment. But look at this guy's hands. He's playing chords. Instead of thinking of each discrete move he wants the block to take, he's memorized the chords that deliver a certain block in a certain orientation to a certain section of the screen. He's essentially taken the same step that stenographers take when they go from 60 WPM on the qwerty keyboard to 260 WPM on the steno keyboard. He couples that with complete mastery of his reflexes, perfect recall of the playing field, and an absolute lack of hesitation. Yes, my friends, we have found the Ed Varallo of Tetris.