I Am The Calculator Race Champion

(come at me, mathematical bro)

If you are not aware of the concept of a Calculator Race, your life has been vapid and empty up to this point, losses I will now rectify by first describing the concept to you, then making you feel hopelessly inadequate in the presence of my superior calculator-racing ability.

The humble Calculator Race is a simple game, that can be participated in my an unlimited number of people, but works best with two, in which one types ‘0+1’ into a calculator, to reach a result of 1. This is the starting position and once, everyone is ready, the race begins: simply press the ‘=’ button repeatedly, which will repeat the last command given ‘+1’, and so your result will constantly increase by one with every press of the equals button: it’s like a pedometer, but for your index finger.

The race is now on, and the winning conditions are often determined as you race; based on time available and readiness of the competitors’ fingers, the game can go until someone reaches, say, 10,000, or until you run out of time in whatever particularly boring lesson you’re trying to pull this in. This is also the beauty of the game, as you can place your calculators on your lap and jab the equals button repeatedly for hours at a time, without attracting the attention of a teacher. You could even leave the calculators on the desk if you’re in a maths lesson, following the Assassin’s Creed method of ‘hiding in plain sight’.

The game also works for iPods, and calculators of any sophistication, size and function; as long as it can add by one, the game is on.

Personally, I can hit 3,000 in 13 minutes; the timing is vague because I was only half-paying attention to the clock (you really need a separate iPod or stopwatch, and perhaps associate to time you, to accurately perform a time trial). Also, the height of my prowess came in year nine (now four years ago) as me and my mate raced through an entire year of maths lessons, with our teacher helpfully distracted by the fact that our class had a grade-A moron in it, who was slightly too confident in their frankly amazingly limited mathematical abilities. As a result, my recent time (from yesterday no less) might not have been my best time ever.

And the best part is that because this is the Internet, I can encourage you folks to do this in your spare time, and you can let me know how you got on! Or not, because this is a pretty crappy way to spend an hour, but whatever! Don’t do this if you’re struggling in lessons and seriously need to pay attention, but if you need to kill half an hour without the screen-tapping annoyance of a pudgy green bird, I’d recommend giving this a go.


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