Monday, October 31, 2011

The Mind of Chun Li

Sorry about the missed post on Friday, guys, time kind of got away with me, and even barring the crazy weather we got in the northeast this past weekend, my weekend was crazy, so I couldn't really make it up.  Went to an awesome halloween party, though(me and a bunch of friends went as the street fighter crew.  I was Akuma), went to a wedding, had a slumber party in a frozen house with no electricity, it was generally an awesome time =D

So anyway, today we're going to take a look at the mind of Chun Li!  Chun Li is a talented investigator and agent for Interpol.  We're going to take a look at observation, police work, and criminal investigation, as well as various methods to keep your mind sharp and detail-oriented!  And we're going to do it through one of my favorite methods, games!

First off, let's talk about what a criminal investigator does.  At their most base essence, they look at the aftermath of a crime, and try to determine who the perpetrators of the crime are, by collecting evidence, reconstructing the crime, and communicating with witnesses.  We're not necessarily talking CSI: Miami stuff here, either, usually investigators have MUCH less definitive evidence to go off of than you see on TV.  That stuff is expensive, slow, and not always concrete anyway.  Detectives and forensic scientists frequently have to operate on a combination of keen observational skills, good people reading, and tested instincts.

You can work on your observation skills and attention to detail by grabbing a friend or two and playing investigator!  Pick a room in your house to serve as your "crime scene."  Everyone walks through this crime scene, observing it for a few minutes, and then leaves.  Then, you send in a person(or small group) to act as the "criminals."  The criminals move or remove a pre-set number of items in the room(ten is a good number).  They then leave the room, and you sent in the "investigator(s)."  The investigator(s) try to figure out what has been moved or removed, within a set time limit.  If they can get all ten in the time limit, they win, otherwise, the criminals win!  Play this with a bigger room, more objects moved/removed, and a shorter time limit to increase the difficulty!

Of course, this is only one small part of investigation.  Let's look at another, the ability to read people.  Experts say that over 90% of our communication is through body language, with less than 10% being verbal.  There are volumes of books out there written on reading body language, and I would be woefully underqualified to give you a full primer on the entirety here in one blog post, so I direct you to your favorite bookstore of choice to find them, but I can offer some tips on learning/practicing. 

The best thing you can honestly do to practice body language(outside of being observant of your own day-to-day interactions with people), is to be a bit of a creeper.  Go somewhere and people watch.  Shopping malls are great places for large groups of people.  Find a bench, sit down and pretend to read a book or something, and just watch the people interacting around you.  Some things to look out for are detecting confrontations between people, romantic interactions, or sales interactions.  All of these are very personal things that can reveal a lot about people.  Watch how people react to the dominant person in a group of friends, or the difference between a successful sale and unsuccessful one in a jewelry kiosk.  There's TONS that you can learn about people just by removing yourself from the situation and simply observing for a while.

You can also work on your personal recognition skills this way.  Pick a person out of the crowd, glance at them, then look away.  Try to reconstruct this person in your mind - their clothing, facial features, hair color, any peculiarities in their walking gait, anything that can be observed as a unique trait of this individual.  Try to do this as quickly as possible.  Now look back at that person again and see how close you got.  Try this with a friend, and test each other!

Final game for the day!  It's called Mafia, and it's a popular party game with multiple variations.  It's best played with a group of ten or more people, and a deck of cards.  From your deck, pull out two aces, two kings, and a queen.  Now add simple number cards to equal the number of people at the party, minus one.  Pick a person to be the narrator, who keeps the whole game going(that's why they don't need a card).  Now shuffle the cards you picked out, and hand them out to everyone, keeping them a secret.  The people who got aces are mafia members, the people who got kings are police officers, and the person who got the queen is a medic.  Everyone who got ordinary number cards are just villagers.

Here's how play goes from there:

  1. The narrator tells everyone to go to sleep, putting their heads down.  She then tells the mafia to wake up, and pick who they want to kill.  The mafia silently decide upon the person they want to kill, pointing at them.  The narrator then tells the mafia to go back to sleep.
  2. The narrator then tells the police to wake up.  The police wake up, and silently decide on and point to one person they'd like to investigate.  The narrator then tells the police whether or not that person is a mafia member(silent thumbs up), or innocent(silent thumbs down).  The police then go to sleep.
  3. Lastly, the narrator tells the medic to wake up.  The medic can choose to save one person, including themselves, but they DON'T know who the mafia decided to kill, and they can ONLY save themselves every other turn(so they can save themselves on the first turn, but not the second).
  4. Now, everyone wakes up.  The narrator makes up a short story about the death of the person who the mafia killed.  Or, if the medic save them, the near-death and recovery of the person.  Then everyone makes accusations about who in the group is a mafia member.  One person is decided upon to go to trial(based upon vote from the townspeople).  One townsperson is picked by the narrator to serve as prosecutor, and then the person accused is allowed to offer their defense.  Finally, the townspeople all vote, through thumbs-up or thumbs-down, whether or not to execute the person in question.
  5. The person is either executed or not, based upon the vote, and then everyone goes back to sleep, and you repeat steps 1-4.  This goes on until either all the mafia are dead(townspeople win). or the mafia outnumber the townspeople(or there's only one mafia and one townsperson left alive), in which case the mafia win.  Remember, anyone who is dead, through mafia kill or townsperson execution, is NOT ALLOWED to speak once they're dead.  Can't have them giving away the secrets. =)

Of course, all of this is all well and good, but nothing can substitute for real experience.  If you're genuinely interested in the forensic sciences, see if your local community college has any courses on that or general law enforcement courses.  If you're too young for this to be an option, see if any of your local police forces have a youth program.  Many offer high-school age kids to participate in some sort of junior officer program where you can ride along with patrolmen and assist with their day-to-day tasks.  Check it out!

That's about it for Chun Li.  Tomorrow I might do a wrap-up post or just a general post of some sort.  Wednesday we'll be starting on a new character profile, but that one's a secret for now!  You'll just have to come back tomorrow to find out who it will be! ;)

Until then, continue to be awesome!

Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

Chun Li, Gen, Street Fighter and all  property therein are © Copyright Capcom.

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