I think the way I play games ties back to my early childhood and how I was narcissistic and selfish. Back then, I’m told I was both a sore loser and a sore winner, so I was pretty much the worst. The funny thing is, I don’t think I’m really any different than how I was back then, at least internally. The biggest difference is perhaps the fact that I’m not as open with my inner thoughts as I had been.
In everything I do, I’m very competitive, which is sort of annoying because it means I’m bad at relaxing. I don’t like operating at less than maximum efficiency. It’s so bad that I feel guilty for listening to music while playing video games rather than an audiobook. Ridiculous, I know, but I don’t think it’s a terrible flaw.
One of the ways this manifests itself most in my life is that, especially recently, I don’t like getting into new things. I don’t want to learn a new game, I want to get better at the one I already know. And once I’m good at it, I want to take it a few steps further and be the best at it. I don’t like devoting less than one hundred percent to anything, because it feels like I’m slacking if I do. It’s why I rarely play role-playing games anymore, because they require a time investment I don’t want to commit. It’s not that I don’t have the time if I really wanted to, it’s that spending that time means time not practicing and getting ahead in anything anyone else is doing.
I played a lot of League of Legends back in the day. Assuming I won about half of the games I’ve ever been in, I’ve probably played around eight hundred hours, as a rough estimate. That’s about a month’s time. Now, if you’re not a gamer, that may sound like a lot, but it actually seems low to me. Some of it was playing with friends, sure, but I didn’t play all one-hundred-an- whatever of the champions. I probably spent over half of those hours on the same three characters, playing, practicing, and exploring how to get the most out of their potentials.
As far as World of Warcraft goes, I have several websites that I go to constantly regarding how to optimize how I play just so I can be the best. Getting the best gear to make my numbers the highest, learning which buttons to hit in different situations, that sort of thing. If nothing else, I strive to be the best of my class (mage, of course), and playing any other class simply feels wrong because of how much time I spent on that one.
Lastly, devotion is the biggest thing. If the game isn’t multiplayer or there are noncompetitive ways to play it, I prove how good I am by getting one hundred percent completion, or by beating it quickly. That sort of thing.
The worst part is, it permeates all aspects of my life. I kind of need to be the best at everything. The only thing that changes is what I’m focusing on. I lose interest if my devotion isn’t giving me the results I like, which is exactly how I feel about World of Warcraft right now (because everybody else I know simply has so much more time on their hands than I do.)
I suspect I’ll get back into Stardew Valley very soon and build the best farm the universe has ever seen.