Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

A Tale of Two Gamers

I met two gamers recently whose attitude towards gaming I don’t really understand. One I met at a friends house who had people over to play some Magic the Gathering. Me, I’m retired from that game and really only play it at occasions like those, but I still try my best to win as many games as possible. For me, MtG is a competitive game and while I play it for fun, getting the best results I possibly can is what makes the gameplay itself fun in the first place. This one player I was talking about (let’s call him Player A) didn’t seem to think that way. He lost a lot, but didn’t really try to find out why he lost. Instead he just moved on to the next game and made the same mistakes he made before. Interestingly, he was perfectly happy with that.

Husky's Battlecruisers make short work out of his opponent's tanks.

The other player (Player B, natch!) I didn’t really meet  – he is a Starcraft II player that I saw in a video of gameplay footage commentated by Husky. Husky defeated this player by cleverly placing additional resource mining and unit production facilities in a place that his opponent didn’t check. This way, Husky was suddenly able to field a terrifying amount of strong units out of nowhere, annihilating his opponent.  Clearly the loser should learn from this that keeping a watch on key locations of the map is absolutely critical to a game of Starcraft II and move on to win the next game with better play. Just like the first player I mentioned though, this one wasn’t willing to identify his own mistakes. Quite unlike Player A, Player B wasn’t happy with losing at all though. Instead he claimed to hate Starcraft II because noobs (his words, not mine) can win too easily in it.

Now Husky isn’t a noob, but that’s not of relevance here. Husky won because he employed a superior strategy, exploiting his opponent’s lack of scouting measures. I can live with Player A just fine – even though I don’t understand his attitude I can accept it. Player B though is the type that really grinds my gears. If you care about winning (which this one clearly does), you need to be willing to work on your own gameplay in order to achieve victory. If you lost a game of Starcraft II, go ahead and watch the replay to see what you did wrong. If your raid gets pummeled by a boss in World of Warcraft, check your logs to identify the weak spots in your plan. If you instead just complain about how unfair the game is, you won’t ever go anywhere.

I said before that I can understand neither player A nor B, but I am willing to accept that there are different types of players who derive fun from games in different ways. Player A was clearly having fun, so I’m absolutely fine with him playing the way he does. Player B on the other hand is just miserable.