Smash and Puyo Puyo. A fighting game and a puzzle game. These two games are the most competitive games I play. They may not seem like very competitive type games, puyo especially, but both have decently strong competitive scenes, and in the case of Puyo, a decently old one. (Though puyo’s competitive scene is relatively mute outside of Japan, if you look into it enough you can see that there have been major Puyo tournaments since 1997!) Though, the point of this post isn’t to bring light to the two games’s competitive scenes, it’s to show how much they’ve affected my taste in gaming.
After playing these games in a competitive way for multiple years, I’ve noticed something. Now instead of playing games for my enjoyment, I only play them to win. Whenever I’m playing really well and easily beating opponents is when I’m having most the most fun. And as you guessed, I’m having the least fun when I’m losing.
This “play to win” mentality has gotten so bad to the point that Ive pretty much stopped improving at these types of games. A piece of advice that’s thrown around a ton in smash’s competitive community (and sometimes in puyo too) is to not let losses affect you, and to see them as a learning experience. But, because of the “play to win” mindset I’ve picked up from years of playing, I find it literally impossible to learn from them. Instead of trying to grow from them, I see them as exclusively a bad thing and I let them affect me. I get extremely tilted whenever I lose now, and I end up throwing something. (Nothing has been broken, thankfully)
This mindset of mines has also affected the way I play casual multiplayer and single player games. Like now, I treat Minecraft Bedwars, a mini game that is supposed to be a more casual experience, like I would skywars ranked. Whereas then I would derive actual enjoyment from the game just messing around and playing, now I’m constantly looking at guides and strats. Like smash and puyo, I also get extremely tilted after losses.
And for single player games, I pretty much can’t play them anymore despite how much I want to play them. I get bored quickly because of the lack of a clear objective, and end up putting them down to play something more competitive.
Now, my question is, how do I get rid of this mindset? I’ve tried so much to change it, so I could both improve at competitive gaming, and learn to derive actual enjoyment from gaming as a whole, but I just can’t. I’ve tried taking breaks, trying new hobbies, going on walks, hell even exercise, but I still slip back into this mindset when gaming, and it’s been absolutely torturous.
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