Do any of the following phrases sound familiar?
“I just want to have fun.”
“I play for fun.”
“You’re ruining games by playing competitively.”
Maybe you’re one of those who says this to others when getting beaten to a pulp. That’s okay, I understand; I’m just going to point out that your ego is bigger than my ego, and I play games competitively.
Outrageous? Not at all. When hardcore and casual – especially in games with a competitive scene – collide, there’s an almost instant animosity: casuals do not like competitive. Why? Because we, the collective competitive, take away from the experience (apparently), and make games not fun.
Before I delve further, I’m going to define what a casual is for this post (as to not offend everyone. LOL). Casuals are not retired competitive players, they are not players who only play every once in a while, they are not players that respect competitive play; casuals are players who degrade competitive play and players, and complain when they lose to said competitive players by utilizing those three phrases (among others similar to those).
See, the problem with those three phrases are that they implant this kind of hierarchy onto “how to have fun”. “Having fun” is at the top, and “playing competitively” is at the bottom.
I guess now is as good a time as any – casuals, you’re not having as much fun as I am.
See, no one likes to lose. We like to succeed. When we lose, we stop having fun (this is somewhat true – you can learn to accept defeat and still have fun, but I’m digressing). When casuals say they want to play for fun, they’re not just playing a game to “have fun”. No, they’re playing with friends that they can beat, or with a randomness factor so large that sometimes you can’t tell who is better and winning is almost purely by chance (Mario Party comes to mind as an example).
Casuals say that playing a game at a high level takes away from the experience, but think about this: have you ever played through a game and not gotten better at it? Difficulty curve is part of game design; the game is designed to become more difficult as you progress and improve. That means all the casuals who are beating these games are doing so because they’re improving, getting better; they’re playing at a higher level.
They’re justifying their losses by putting down those who are better, or put in more time and effort than they do, but it’s still not fun to lose. They’d be having more fun if they accepted that they’re not going to put effort into a game and will lose to those who do most of the time, or if they start putting in that effort and seeing some results. They’d have more fun if they learned how to take a loss and still have fun instead of getting salty and trying to make excuses as to why they’re getting their ass beat. They’d have more fun if they respected competitive play.
Oh, you play for “fun”? Yeah, right. Everyone wants to be good at what they play. The difference between casual and competitive is that casual blames the competitive for their loss, while the competitive blames themselves (or the game. LOL) for their loss.