Gundam Pilots and serious play shouldn’t mix…
As a person controlling essentially a transformer, being a Gundam pilot is probably one of the more difficult jobs of anime. It requires a whole lot of skills – and a whole lot of faith in the metal trash can that currently protects your fragile body.
So how can such a serious job teach us about such a fun topic as serious play? Well, strap on that tinfoil cosplay and follow us – into the dazzling world of educational fictional robots.
Finding skills in unusual places
The important thing about Gundam pilots is that nobody is born knowing how to fly a huge metal action figure. It’s a skill that’s learnt over time – sometimes easily, sometimes painstakingly – and remembering this is surprisingly useful in terms of serious play.
Because not every useful skill comes from study or intensive work. Team skills, oration, confidence – all can be built out of what conventionally would be thought of as goofing around. At the end of the day, so long as you’re improving vital skills to improve yourself, it doesn’t matter how you do it. Nobody was born good at anything, so make sure to vary the ways in which you learn and improve your skillset.
Getting in Touch With Yourself (and Your Huge Metal Robot Suit)
A common trope in Gundam anime is a Gundam that, in theory, should totally suck, but doesn’t because the pilot knows how to work it. Things that some people see as weaknesses can actually be strengths, and just because some people can’t do something, doesn’t mean that should stop you.
In essence, everyone is basically just a fleshy Gundam – as gross as that sounds. The traits that you have – both good and bad – are what make you an individual, and learning what you can do best is how you because the best flesh Gundam pilot of all time.
Too gross? Probably too gross. Our bad, internet.
Letting Yourself Not Be Perfect through Serious Play
This isn’t to suggest that the reason Gundam pilots do well is because they’re seriously OP. In fact, there pretty much isn’t a character who doesn’t have some kind of flaw – be it that they’re seriously hot-headed, that they focus too much on one aspect of the Gundams, or that they’re willing to charge into any fight in the name of justice.
Now, while this doesn’t mean you can just shrug and let your weak points get worse, it is a solid reminder of an unfortunate fact: nobody is perfect. If the best imaginary robot pilot in the world is still allowed to have weaknesses and make mistakes, then by god, so are you. Serious play is, in many senses, about accepting this natural inevitability, and not being afraid to fail in the name of improvement.