Monday, August 24, 2009


Ok, I have a question.

Am I really, really weird for not being competitive, or have I just been really unlucky about the people I run into?

To all intents and purposes, the only person I consider myself in competition with is myself. If I'm playing a game and the person I'm playing against beats me, that just tells me two things: One, the other person has just had more practice or has more natural talent than me, and; Two, I could probably use more practice.

Don't get me wrong, I like to win, but I don't need to win or take any pleasure knowing that I've beaten someone. I don't feel the need to gloat over a win or get pissed off over a loss.

For example, today I was playing Ghostbusters on Xbox Live and I played one of the few real competitive game types "Slime Dunk" where the winner is the person who captures the most ghosts. It was my first time playing this game type, and as you can probably guess, I lost.

Now, I actually thought this gametype was a lot of fun…or at least it would have been if my opponent hadn't felt the need to tell me how much I sucked, how much he was 'owning' me the entire time.

I just don't get it. First of all, I'm not going to feel bad that I lost a game on my first try, especially since I was playing someone who, from his score and rank, probably plays that same game for six hours or more every day. secondly, I don't understand how someone can get so pumped up about beating someone who told them straight it was their first time playing.

In very real terms that's like me having a real life target shooting contest with someone who's never held a rifle before. Is it really a 'victory' because I can beat someone at something that I have years of experience with, that they'd never tried before?

The worst part is that this hyper-competitive attitude especially ruins this game and a lot of other games that are supposedly 'cooperative'.

For example, my favorite game mode in Ghostbusters is 'survival'. Four players are attacked by wave after wave of ghosts and you 'win' by surviving ten waves. This would be a great game, except no-one I've ever played with realizes they're not competing against each other. You see, once the round is over, all the players are ranked on how well they did.

This leads to some seriously frustrating shit. For example, you're being swarmed by ten or more ghosts …but the other three players are fighting each other by trying to get the same ghost into three separate traps. Why? Because you get points based on how many ghosts you trap…so despite the fact that one person can wrangle a ghost into a trap just as easily as three, and it makes far more sense for everyone to wear a ghost down, then one player wrangle it into the trap while the other three go after another one or watch the wrangler's back while he's busy…instead you have here players slowly getting killed by other ghosts and monsters while they all fight over who gets the points for the single ghost they're all fighting over.

What this means is that in 9 out of every 10 games, you actually lose the game because your teammates are far more concerned about who's better than who than actually winning. Oh, and of course, the people who play the most selfishly are the ones with the highest score…which they then use as an excuse to abuse the rest of the team about how much they suck.

In fact, I've yet to see a single co-op game that doesn't feature some form of competitive twist.

Basically, you take a game that is most fun when everyone works together, and then you give all the players a major incentive to play selfishly.

Long story short, if I'm playing a co-op video game, I'm playing with my team-mates against the game. I don't give a shit who did the best or worst.


Sunny said...

I think maybe you aren't nearly as competitive as most gamers you're playing......I mean even when you and I play- you don't care whether or not you win.....and I'm so competitive it's just stupid to watch. Not that I get pissed if I don't win- but I AM much more Gung-Ho about trying to win.
I also think maybe you should play less multi-player online games if you let the little ass-wipes get you so worked up you have to blog about it.
But that's just my opinion.

Evan 08 said...

It's not just you.

Anonymous said...

wow, who knew that on line gaming was just like real life.

sorry to hear that.


MC Etcher said...

Competitive, hm. I've never been kick-ass at anything, so I'm used to losing. When I lose, I'm not too surprised or annoyed.

Maybe if a person is accustomed to winning, losing really hurts.

Also, the world is full of assholes.