I am good at video games, a fact known by anyone familiar with me. This fact is responsible for two traits of my character I am very knowledgeable about, and one I had little or no idea existed until very recently.

The first two are straightforward, though I won't go into deep explanation. To summarize, my stubborn, never-say-die challenges against players better than me is one trait, and the second is my inability to focus on any one pursuit/choice within a given game. I have known for a while the madness which spawned these characteristics, and they have long since ceased to surprise me.

Recently, however, my joining the StarCraft II Beta confronted me with an aspect of my character I had never seen before.

Despite my general quick acclimation to new games, good reflexes, past experience and stubbornness, I found myself fearful of actually testing my abilities against other people. I could not understand what was wrong with me. Why would I have any reason to be afraid to find out where I stood? If I was better than everyone, no big deal. If I was a terrible player, even better. I had no reason I knew of to be in a catatonic state of terror.

Eventually, after forcing myself through the obstacle, I understood. What I feared was the unknown, a genre I hadn't touched seriously in a decade. The fact that my brother proved head and shoulders better than me in both the original and StarCraft II didn't bother me directly, but it opened the door to doubts. I doubted whether I would be any good, whether I would learn and improve, and most critically whether I would live up to my name and history.

I was unknowingly wrapped up in the mythos of Me, the Undeniably Awesome Gamer. StarCraft II represented a grave threat to my understanding of me as a good gamer. I have failed utterly at other games and genres, but I never was particularly serious about them so they didn't matter (I'm on to you and your tricky oceans, Ace Combat). StarCraft II, however, whispered to me sweet, sickening invitations to prove myself a sham.

Afraid I would turn out to be normal, I shied away, forgetting that everyone starts a new or forgotten genre a complete nub and goes from there. As it turns out, everyone includes me.

Having gotten over myself, we'll see if I can't turn up the learning machine and become a kick butt player. In the mean time, I'll sit in the Bronze loser's league and nub it up.


Scott said...

I'm so bad at competitive gaming, it's pathetic. Plus, I don't have enough time to get good, so I avoid competitive multiplayer gaming for the most part. It's unfortunate, because I know it would be fun, but what can I do?

360 Trooper said...

Do what I do and stick to single player for the rest of forever.