As striking machinists returned to work on Monday, Renton-based Boeing engineer Mark Waring took a celebratory day off, to reward himself for achieving a major life goal: finally reaching level 50 in the web-based game Defend Your Castle.
After many hours of intense labor throughout the machinists’ strike, Waring finally was able to break past level 42, which had been the furthest level he had been able to achieve in the previous three hundred games.
Waring was happy to explain the secret to his eventual castle defense success. “Whenever I wasn’t making coffee or blankly staring at redundant documents, I was fine-tuning my stick man-throwing skills,” said Waring. “It was totally worth the average of four-point-six hours each work day I have spent on this in the past fifty days. I actually calculated it on a spreadsheet.”
Waring tells of one particularly poignant memory:
“There was one time, two weeks ago, when I really thought I had it. My clicks were just on, you know? I was in the zone. Then suddenly out of nowhere on that darn level 42 again, seven or eight of those giant stick men came bolting toward the castle gates. My mages were out of mana and my archers just couldn’t hold them off. I was so close—it was heartbreaking, but at the same time it served to strengthen my resolve.”
Finally succumbing at level 53, Waring shattered his previous high score by well over 10,000.
Upon accomplishing this difficult goal, Waring is reported to have jumped out of his seat and loudly exclaimed “Yes! Finally!” Residents of nearby cubicles flocked to his workspace, curious as to what could possibly cause a fellow employee to become so excited. After spending half an hour or so basking in the admiration of his coworkers, Waring headed home early to celebrate.
When asked what his next goal would be, Waring replied: “It’s still too early to think about that, you know? I’m just so pumped about this, I can hardly think about anything else. Now that the machinists are back to work, I’ll probably have to cut my game time back to just a couple hours a day. Maybe I’ll try that robot time travel game I’ve heard about—that sounded pretty cool.”
Waring’s supervisor was unavailable for comment.