Crossing The Anger Bridge and Enjoying Games Again

Over the last seven years or so something happened to my overall enjoyment of games.  It went from a fun-filled hobby and past-time to some sort of hardcore, anger filled, ‘if you ain’t first you’re last’, no holds barred, screaming at my TV, stress-filled and slightly enjoyable time to myself.

I had to find out what was going on in my head.  It wasn’t until I read a couple articles on Kotaku and was put on ‘probation’ by Call of Duty Black Ops 2 for rage quitting out of matches that I figured it out.  I was caring way too much about winning.  Winning what?… who knows.  There aren’t any prizes for having a positive KDr in any game.  There isn’t any reason to think (or desire) some sort of pro-gaming status (considering I am currently employed and I’m just not that dedicated to become ‘pro’ at something so trivial) besides the fact that I’m also not among the best in the world (at any game).  Why was I getting so angry?  That is the first question I had to ask before I came to a solution.

The primary reason I was getting angry with FPS games was due to the online component.  Whether it was network lag, my own lack of skill, my team’s lack of skill or people camping like cowards – there was always something pushing my buttons.  It wasn’t until the other day that I simply stopped caring about all of it.  My KDr in Black Ops 2 is currently 1.02.  I am going even almost every time out and that isn’t terrible but it also isn’t amazing.  The real question is why do I really care about it anyway?

A lot of the reasons why people rage quit is because they hold pride in their KDr.  Let go, my friends…. let go.  When you start playing the game for fun you will find something even more important than your KDr is doing better – your stress level.  No one wants to be in a room where you are cussing and screaming about getting killed by some quick scoping camper.  If they are the type of person that wants to use a cheap way to get kills, let them do that and stop going the same direction.  Or… you can also hit the power button and do something else.

Another point of frustration in my gaming came from Madden 13.  I have only played one online game (and my opponent quit in the second quarter) but that isn’t where my stress came from.  It came from the dumbest AI in all of gaming.  In Madden in All-Madden difficulty you are going to watch the CPU cheat – blatantly.  I have seen my team go up 21-0 and somehow stop moving the ball or doing anything right.  I have been fully aware of EA putting in (and denying) CPU comeback AI (aka cheating CPU teams to make for a ‘better game’) but it wasn’t until I lost a couple key games that I started to get annoyed.  Then all it started to take was one bogus interception or terrible throw from my up-to-that-point perfect throwing QB and I would quit out of the game.

Stop worrying about the losses.  No one is watching you and if something is watching you – you should be ashamed to simply back out of a game that might have been on its way to being somewhat entertaining for them to watch.  (Pro Tip – many people hate watching sports games, so game with care when you have company)

Before you start screaming at your TV (or at the heavens) when you get killed in Halo, COD, BF3 or lose at any game – ask yourself this question.

WHY AM I PLAYING VIDEO GAMES RIGHT NOW?

If your answer is anything other than ‘To win tons of money and further my bogus pro-gaming career.” you should have a much easier time having fun again and walking away with a little less stress in your life.

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