I responded to Scott’s recent editorial on playing games with friends saying that because I was not very good at video games in general, I did not mind when I lost over and over again. Instead, I would prefer to just have fun playing and take any learning experiences that I could from it.
I use this reasoning a lot, and while I believe it to be generally true when it comes to StarCraft II specifically, I do wonder if I am being fully honest in saying that I do not care much about winning in video games. Games require conditions to proceed, even if some are easier than others. Even Flower has tasks to complete before the player is able to continue to the next level and – believe it or not – there are ways to die in that game. But obviously an experience like that is more about the ride than it is about the challenge.
Yet, although I am able to enjoy the slower, more thoughtful, and – let us face it – easier games, if I look to a game like Super Smash Bros Brawl, I have a much harder time swallowing losses.
I have not played the game in a while, but there was a time when I would constantly battle friends and pride myself to win almost always against most and win half the time against excellent players. Intense fights that ended in a loss would give me extreme frustration and play sessions were always riddled with swearing.
So what is the difference between that and StarCraft or any other game that I consistently lose at?
That only answer I can come up with is that I do not consider myself very good at video games. But that is a point I mentioned before, and pointing to Brawl or Tetris DS or games I used to play as a child, it is obvious that I am actually very capable of being good at video games if I try.
In fact, I remember in my horrible trip to Murfreesboro, I played some Call of Duty game that I had never played before. I beat both Riddles and his friend although they had both played a fair share of the game.
So maybe it is because I get so competitive when I am good at a game that I purposefully avoid putting too much effort into a title so that I can retain the fun.
Maybe that is reading too much into it and maybe I just do not have the time to throw into any one game in order to become anything more than a beginner, especially when my primary love are time-consuming JRPGs.
Still, with my gaming attention so scattered, it is nice to remember the feeling of victory. It is good to think back on when I would crush any challengers as Olimar or when I could speedrun Super Mario Land on the original Game Boy. It is all well and good to play RPGs in which I can over-level myself or to play Zelda games that have become relatively easy compared to their old-school counterparts, but that is more about exploring a world and experiencing a story than it is about overcoming a challenge. And I like having that option.
But maybe it is time to come out of my shell and not just assume I will suck at a game before I even try it. Maybe it is time to just lose most of my games in StarCraft instead of nearly all of them.
Either way, I think I will stop saying I am not good at video games as it is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. And like I said, it would be nice to say that one day I could hit the Platinum or Diamond league on the competitive StarCraft II ladder. Now, in the grand scheme of things, that is still not good compared to the pros, but there will always been somebody better.
Except in Pokémon. I will be the very best. Like no one ever was.
What about you, LusiBattlers? Get competitive in video games? Do you consider yourself to be a skilled gamer? Are games more about the challenge or the experience for you? A mixture of both? Is this too many questions? Is there such a thing as too many questions? Oh there is? Should I stop then? Did you have to be so mean about it? Fine.