With a title like that and the premise of this blog you’d think this will be about online dating shenanigans. Sadly, I seem to be going a bit tangential this spring – I’ll blame the change in seasons for affecting my thinking!
In truth I’ve been playing some online combat games recently and noticed a disturbing trend in games; especially older ones with smaller online communities. I’m not talking about abuse, in the conventional sense, or in the hacking (use of ‘illegal’ modifications); although both are prevalent in places.
My observation runs around some players need to be on “the winning team”. This is about there need to maintain their superiority in their “stats”. These people need to feel a sense of superiority at all times while they are playing. The need to dominate all other players and will group together against less experienced (or less skilled) players to maintain their sense of self worth.
Let’s be clear, this is not about fun for them. They will say that it is, but they cannot have fun losing. Let me put some flesh on that statement. On one game, which is a form of capture the flag I was on the losing team; the score was effectively 3-2; and I had a great time. There was a challenge playing against others of a similar ability. In contrast I have watched these skilled players quite mid-game when they have been on a weak team; which has allowed players like me to take some of the wind out of their sails. In truth could you imagine how a “sports star” would be treated if they kept walking out of games because they were losing?
These people are the same ones that do in game “dances” to humiliate players that make mistakes. This seems a perfect earmark of childish bullying. These people do not play to “link” with other people, but to find a sense of “rank”. I would presume these people feel demeaned in other areas of their life, where they sense they have a low rank. There sense of fun comes from an elevation of self-worth through the subjugation of others in the game.
I do not doubt the skill of many of these players, rather that they need to hang around together on a team rather than attempt to challenge each other to demonstrate their skill. For them the danger would be that one of the others could claim greater ‘rank’ over them and ultimately spoil their ‘fun’.
I’ll come back to the this issue in relationships some time soon.
See: The Undervalued Self