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You don't have to move the mouse cursor or think or anything. Simply, how many times in sixty seconds do you think you could click a mouse button? And for how long do you think you could keep up that speed?

Have a guess at the answer, then go to this website and test youself:

Admittedly, this only tests you for ten seconds, so you'll have to extrapolate to get a clicks-per-minute rate. I managed 31 clicks in 10 seconds, so that's a 'cpm' of 186.

Now you have your cpm score, think how quickly you would be able to use a combination of keyboard key presses, mouse clicks with all mouse buttons and mouse movements to issue a complicated set of instructions. Oh, and the instructions you have to issue are not learnable since you are playing a game against a human opponent - you will have to be constantly thinking about your opponent's tactics and how to respond. And the game will last for many minutes, not just one. Now how many 'actions' do you think you could realistically hope to achieve in an average sixty second spell?

I mention this because yesterday evening I was reading an article in Edge magazine (this article in fact: http://www.next-gen.biz/features/starcrafts-enduring-legacy-part-one?page=0%2C0) about professional Starcraft players in South Korea. For those who don't know, Starcraft is a ten year old real-time strategy game made by the same company who went on to make World of Warcraft. For a variety of odd reasons, competitive Starcraft is almost the national sport in South Korea (only football is more popular).

The 'actions per minute' rate of professional Starcraft players is around 300. That's five clicks / key presses / decisions every second. Which is astonishing.

The article says that the difference in skill levels between a good amateur and a top professional is wider in Starcraft than in most sports. I think I'd have to agree. On the last page of the article is a link to a video where two top players explain 'apm' and you can see film of just how fast 300 apm is. And don't forget that they are thinking tactically while all this is going on.

Like I said, it's just astonishing.

If the next war is fought with remotely controlled robots, I hope South Korea is on our side...


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
I know I said 'probably one, then I would get bored and wander away as I have a really short attention span and wouldn't just sit there clicking for a whole minute when I could be eating scones'

But I was seduced by the idea of a test that would only take 10 seconds, then obviously, had to come and tell you that I got 50 clicks into my 10 seconds.

Me the ninjaclicker!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:08 am (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
But I can't keep it going for long.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
I am also impressed.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
I peaked at 72; 70 was my average over several goes.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
OK, 75 now.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)

Again, what equipment? Any special technique?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
I tried a second time and got 76.

I have no idea why this is hard, so I can only imagine what people are doing wrong! Er...don't click up and down with a big motion, but hold hand rigid and use minimum force to 'bounce' the button. And focus - imagine you're some sort of vibrating drill pile-driving through the table for 10 seconds.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Forget Left 4 Dead, this is the new multiplayer game of choice - competitive mouse clicking.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
In which case, can I have the version with a bit more gore? This one is entirely lacking in body parts.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
Keep going, I'm sure your finger will come off eventually!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
Staggering. Out of interest, what mouse are you using?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
It's Chris' mouse. On the bottom it says 'microsoft standard wireless optical mouse'.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:27 am (UTC)
Clarineticist's fingers? Your expensive gaming mouse must help too. I'd blame my borderline arthritic fingers, but random can only manage 34...

Hold the back page, he's just got 47. He's now addicted to it...

Edited at 2010-08-02 11:30 am (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
That was with your mouse, I just tried a second time with mine and got 69.

I shall call you Mr Slowfingers... :-D
Aug. 2nd, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Interesting. The 31 I was getting consistently was at JOLF. On my Clare Associates PC at home, I can consistently get in the high fifties, and peaked at 61. Obviously something about my setup at work...
Aug. 4th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
"The Numeric Entry or 10 key speed is a measure of one's ability to manipulate the numeric keypad found on most keyboards. It is used to measure speed for jobs such as data entry of number information on items such as remittance advice, bills, or checks. It is measured in 'Keystrokes per hour', or KPH. Many jobs will require a certain KPH, often 8,000 or 10,000."

"The fastest typing speed ever, 216 words per minute, was achieved by Stella Pajunas-Garnand from Chicago in 1946 in one minute on an IBM electric."

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )