Column: Crushing six digits and a dream

‘I am on my journey to becoming as good as the man in the video.’


"My love for the game is higher than ever and I am starting to become involved in the osu! community."

“Hey Chris, you know that game is free, right?” 

Those words started my addiction.

No star

One evening after school, I was scrolling through YouTube when I came across a video of Shigetora playing a rhythm game called “osu!” I was amazed at how he was able to tell what was happening on the screen. There was a plethora of circles appearing all over and so fast, yet he was able to hit each one of them. After seeing that video, I was inspired to try to accomplish the same thing as him. I opened up Steam and searched for the game, only to find a knockoff copy of it for $8. Because I didn’t have money, I wouldn’t buy it. At the time, I didn’t know it wasn’t the correct version.

Later that night, I told my friend about the game.

“Hey Chris, you know that game is free, right?”

I was in shock. He sent me a link to the download site and I took my first step into the world of rhythm games.

Osu! is a rhythm game where you use either a mouse or tablet to tap a series of notes to the rhythm of a song. Each song is created by people around the world, providing an endless amount of unique maps. Maps vary in difficulty ranging from one star all the way up to 10 stars. When you clear a map, you obtain a letter rating based on how well you did. The rating ranges from D, the worst, to SS, the best.

One star *

I didn’t know much about the game yet besides how to download maps. Me being the cocky gamer I am, I looked up and downloaded the hardest map I could find.

I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea.

I failed the map right away.

“The guy in the video made it look so easy, but I guess it’s going to take practice to become as good as him,” I said.

I played for about an hour, trying to become used to aiming with a mouse and a few of the game’s draining mechanics. An hour was my limit, any more and my hand felt like it was going to cramp.

Two star **

After playing one-star maps every day for a week, I finally decided it was time to try two stars. The difficulty increase wasn’t as huge of a jump as I thought it would be. I easily passed the two-star map. My confidence in my skill at the game was growing and I was getting closer to the guy in the video.

Three star ***

About a month into playing the game, I tried my first three star. It was hard to keep up, but I was able to pass the map. Eventually, I started to earn an S rank on some of the three-star maps which is one of the best score ratings you can get, only being surpassed by an SS rating.

My momentum would soon come to an end. I hit an improvement barrier and began to play the game less and less. The spark I felt when playing had died out and I went on a year-long break.

The return

Once again, I was scrolling through YouTube and came across another video of Shigetora playing an insanely difficult map. For some reason, that video relit my passion for the game. I started up the game and got back to trying to break past that barrier. Playing so intensely, I tended to have a firm grip on my mouse. Doing so for hours on end gave me wrist pain, so I bought a tablet to use instead. This became one of the best decisions of my osu! career. Becoming a tablet player allowed me to break through and surpass my limits. I shattered the three-star barriers and leaped into the world of four stars.

Four star **** and five star *****

This is currently where I am on my journey to becoming as good as the man in the video. I now play this game every day for at least two or three hours. My love for the game is higher than ever and I am starting to become involved in the osu! community. The game has become a passion of mine and I won’t ever stop playing it again.