Wednesday, November 12, 2014
What makes a good gamer? What separates a good gamer from a great gamer? Does it even really matter? In my opinion, the answer to the question is "Why do you Game?" If you are trying to progress to MLG, then yes it matter if you know what you are doing. I believe in pushing for goals, even if they seem impossible. For a long time, I've been known as a great gamer. I have played in tournaments, ranked high on certain ladders, and been a force to reckon with in many games. But something changed one day. One day I found myself playing more defensive than aggressive which at the time was not normal for me. I found myself being more of a objective based player rather than someone going for the most head shots. I honestly cannot tell you what it was, but it took me a while to realize. In today's competitive gaming, you cant really exist without a ego. There are a few people who aren't over the top, but the norm with skilled gamers is to be in some form or fashion, an elitest. One of my dreams is to game for a living but I honestly struggle with the ego part of it, and that is why I think things changed.
I guess you can say that in a way I grew up. I focused more on protecting people in games and making sure people had time to actually enjoy it instead of being spawn camped. I wasn't ever really a trash talker, but I was confident. I found myself wondering why I couldn't perform the same and it ended up turning me off to certain types of games. I think this was a good thing because it ended up making me focus less on being good at games, and made me focus more on the actual game itself. In the end, games are made to be entertaining. If at any point you aren't being entertained then you have to evaluate what you are doing. Sometimes being patient enough to think about things helps you more than you think. Patience, in my opinion, is one of the things that not only helps you in life, but also helps you be a better gamer. I read a interview somewhere that said that no one will ever be at the top of their game unless they are arrogant, because knowing you cant get beat actually makes you unbeatable. Now I've always been one to play against the odds but this comment really irritated me. When you pick up a fresh game and start playing, there are going to be people that understand game play faster and slower than you, but that doesn't give you rights to entitle yourself to anything.
I think a lot of gamers are simply scared out of gaming too soon because they feel too steep of a curve to learn. There is a lot of willing people to help but you sometimes really have to dig to find them. Last Thanksgiving, I was talking to my aunt and realized that she was a gamer. She told me about how she helped out new gamers into zombies. Zombies takes a game that felt like beating your head against the same wall repeatedly, and putting a new fun spin on it. It was so refreshing to hear what my aunt did, and it really served to revitalize some passion to play that type of shooting game. She inspired me to keep playing and keep trying to progress, no matter how many people tried to shove me back down.
In the picture up top there is a conversation with my friend Brett that I had last night. He really inspired me to write this post today because I think what he said in the picture is a key note in being a good gamer. I think it is way better to be a great gamer than the best gamer. If there is room to learn, then you will always get better and still be intrigued. Set goals for yourself, that aren't too ridiculous. and make sure you always try to hit them. Most importantly, don't be too hard on yourself. If the game ever stops being fun, then take a break and step away. This will make you play longer and not get so burnt out on everything. Just remember that progress is the key, and be patient to see change. Just like in real life, doing the same thing over and over everyday will quickly get boring.
This may not appeal to every single gamer, but I feel like it might hit home with some struggling gamers. When my wife logs on Borderlands, she wants to kill midgets and get loot. She doesn't care about how good she is and who knows it. She simply plays because its fun. I think, whether hardcore or casual, you need to always enjoy what your doing. Keep a positive attitude and make sure you keep striving for progress if that's what you desire, but don't forget to have fun. Always be your own kind of gamer, and play for whatever it is YOU want to play for.
Special thanks to Lisa and Brett for the inspiration.