Hi! I've played games since I was young and grew up on Nintendo and MMORPGS. When I became a teenager I got into fighting games and more recently PC with League of Legends and Overwatch. I've always played for fun and competitively, and its in my nature to try my best to win regardless of the game. The competitive aspects also came pretty naturally to me.
In college, I got a taste of the esports scene and it was very off-putting. So many people I knew didn't even have an interest in just gaming. They just wanted the awards, accolades, and money. No one really seemed to acknowledge this as an issue either. I played Overwatch competitively and participated in esports leagues, same with League of Legends. But my time spent there all felt so empty.
Though not in esports any more, I do play competitively every now and then. I sat back today after my experience with Overwatch. The game feels like a drug, or more specifically the competitive system. It's a struggle to maintain your rank, rank is the forefront of everyone's mind, and in playing everyone just seems to be so toxic.
I recently took a step back, and looked at the time I spent playing. It feels so wasted and I feel frustrated with the game and myself. I can keep grinding hours in to climb but the system is so disheartening when you end up right back where you started. (due to the ups and downs of rank points.)
It got me thinking and I noticed that so many competitive games have this same model. They just keep you playing more and more, investing more time while seemingly eating away at your well-being. At the end of the day, you haven't really gotten anywhere. Part of me got into it because of my circumstances, friends, and love for gaming but it feels like a drain. The model is a drug, with a high and then a fall over and over. The worst part, it's so easy to get into and play matches over and over again. Heck, with some games you don't even have to pay.
Meanwhile other games don't give me this same feeling. Fighting games I enjoy even if I don't win, and non competitive games never make me question my well-being. If anything they make me feel more grounded and whole.
At this time I've uninstalled Overwatch and I'm going to see if I feel better. I don't think I'll ever give up gaming since I am so passionate about the games and communities, but I may step away from the competitive scenes. (Outside of a few games.) This post may seem like a ramble, but this has always been on my mind and I've never felt the need to express it until now.
Does anyone else ever feel this way? Was anyone else in the competitive gaming scene and voluntarily quit? What are your experiences?
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