Gaming as a Social Event

A friend recently told me, “Introverts tend to prefer cooperation over competition”, and I have found that to be very true.

I remember growing up and playing Monopoly during family game night. Regardless of the fact I would likely lose I always looked forward to the game. Each and every game ended in tears. Not because I simply lost – but because it was at the hand of my family. I felt I had been turned on, used, and set-up by someone I trusted. Someone smarter than me; who used my naivety as an angle.

Those marathon family game nights likely molded how I choose to play games still today.

I currently play a turn-based strategy game on the iPod/iPhone/iPad called Hero Academy.  I’m not excellent at it (I have about a 40% success ratio) but I play with some people who are truly awesome. Recently, one of these friends made a point to stop me while I was talking to someone else and say, “maybe someday I’ll let you actually beat me”.

Since then I’ve really been searching for the reason why I felt so offended by his comment. It’s taken some time and self-searching but I believe I know the reason: he plays to dominate other people and I play to connect with other people. Also, it’s hard to connect with someone who’s main goal is to defeat you.

I don’t feel the need to completely obliterate my opponent to have a good time. Maybe that means I’m not a serious enough gamer to this person. I’m totally okay with not winning. It’s not like I play to lose – I just don’t play to decimate, blot out, and/or slaughter my fellow players (all in the name of fun).

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