This week’s confession is gaming skill.
Some may find this surprising but I am not actually that good at most video games. It’s rather odd considering I spent my time playing games, writing about games or listening to gaming podcast. Don’t get me wrong I have years of experience playing games and in any given room of people I’m probably better than most however gaming now joins the world we are all part of a greater community.
When I was younger I was super competitive, I would invite my friends and family to play against me and “forget” to tell them certain controls, mind you in back them there was only two buttons and if you couldn’t work out the what the two buttons do then I really have no sympathy(I am of course referring to the classic NES controller, I know it had a directional pad as well as A and B, but if you can’t work out what an arrow button will do then you have no chance for the A and B buttons.)
I kept this attitude for quite a while, and over the years my competitiveness increased, it reached a peak a few years ago with Smackdown Vs Raw It was my game, I was unbeaten for years. On an earlier edition on the game (the one with an infinite career, I held the title on the hardest difficulty for 70 years) When I played my friends it got to a stage where I could select one of the weakest characters (Scotty 2 Hotly) and beat one of the tougher ones (Undertaker) This was my game I was the master, or so I thought.
One day I decided to experiment with my wireless connection at home. Through trial and error I had hooked my PS2 to my PC and my PC was connected to my wireless network via a USB dongle. I loaded up my favourite game thinking it would be a walk in the park, boy was I wrong within about two minutes I was down bloodied and taking the fourth or fifth finisher, it was a massacre.
So my pride was dented, but I thought perhaps it was a fluke maybe I had meet that one person in the world that was better than me, it could have happened the world is a big place there was bound to be someone just as good as me. So I took a deep breath, brushed myself off and tried again. This time I was better, I lasted at least two and a half minutes. I soon began to realise that I was out of my depth, perhaps I wasn’t God’s gift to gaming after all.
It was a hard lesson to learn but a needed one, I had accepted this lesson long ago in my academic life; I was smart but certainly not the smartest. My biggest sporting achievement was coming in 4th in a Karate tournament with four competitors. As soon as I accepted this I found games where more enjoyable, I wasn’t playing the games to be the best I was playing them because I wanted to. I still like a challenge for instance I have just completed the “Lair of the Shadow Broker” DLC on insanity using an infiltrator class on Mass Effect 2, which in case you haven’t played it means an all out attack on an enemy strong hold without an assault rifle. Some may see my acceptance of this as cowardice, I don’t compete because I know I can’t win, and to those people I say it is wise to remember that no matter how good you are or how many hours you plough into games there will always be someone who has more time, money and sadly more skill than you could ever hope for. Follow my example, enjoy games and be competitive but don’t let the competitiveness take over your life