Taking The L – Losing In Video Games

When it comes to video games, you either win or you lose. Winning feels great, while losing usually makes you feel like garbage.

The mindset on losing is a very interesting one. Lose and you’re shunned, shamed, and often times made fun of. Losing equates to a lack of skill, strength, or intelligence, and is only something to be ashamed of. I don’t think that Losing has to be any of those things. I’ve been gaming since I was very young, and while I consider myself very competent when it comes to video games, I’m far from a professional and there are people out there who are going to be far better than me. Losing will be an inevitability. A game can be lost for many reasons; poor teamwork (if it’s a team based game), you’re having an off day, or you  faced opponents more skilled than you are. Whatever the reason, there’s always something you can gain from losing a game…knowledge.

Learn From Your Mistakes

flip-the-table

The age old saying “learn from your mistakes” really rings true here. One way I like to look at a competition as seeing who makes the least of them. Ever since I started gaming on PC, I’ve become very familiar with game capture software, by current go to is Shadowplay or Nvidia ShareIt allows be to go back and watch previous games, and see where I made any mistakes or poor decisions. I go through the matches to see what worked for me, and what didn’t, so I can take that knowledge into future matches.

Knowing what NOT to do in a certain situation is the path towards knowing what to do. Reviewing footage from previous games like this is something that professional athletes do as well. Anyone who’s serious about getting better at gaming should definitely consider this method.

Come Back And Win Later

come back later and win

Winning is a great feeling, but I also enjoy coming back after a loss to win against those who beat me initially. Usually my victor is still riding off the success from our last encounter, so they go into the re-match already underestimating me. My best example of this could be Super Smash Bros. (SSB). I would always pick Link as my main character, always. I’d get mocked for doing so as well. To be fair, Link is not considered top tier, nor is he considered quick as far as movement speed was concerned. I lost a lot of matches playing as Link, a lot.

This was partly due to the fact that I was always trying to keep up with the Foxes, Marios and Pickachus. After time, I learned that I should be waiting for the right opportunity to strike, not chasing it. Once I figured this out, I started losing less, and eventually I started winning more! One of the best Fox players I know is my brother, so he was usually readily available for a sparring match. Eventually I was in a position to where I could beat him when he was putting in significant effort. I didn’t win every single time, but I definitely made my opponents sweat every single time.

Just Have Fun

Paladins Champions Of The Relam Defending Point provided by HiRez

The most important thing you can do is to simply have fun with it. As long as you gave it your best shot and learned something you can apply to your next match to prevent losing, then there’s no reason to be ashamed for being bested by an opponent. Sometimes catching an opponent  off guard and giving them a run for their proverbial money is more satisfying anyways. 

At some point as I was growing up, games went from being about fun, to being about mercilessly crushing the opposing player or team. It’s literally just a game, and video games were created for the soul purpose of our entertainment and enjoyment. At the end of the day, it’s supposed to be fun and If you’re not having fun, then what’s the bloody point?

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