Only noobs think I'm elitist

| Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tobold is making grand claims again, telling us all what to do and the correct way to think. Check this one: Winning is not the purpose of playing.

He almost gets it, but continues straight past. "It is the playing itself which is the purpose of a game, not the winning."

Playing for what? Children play to learn. Adolescents play for fun. But adults play to win. Why? Because winning is a source of fun and a way of learning. It's a two-for-one deal.

However I do agree with his support of the 50-50 win-lose condition. We all start in the middle and then lose or win our way to a bracket with our skill peers. At that point we'll run about 50-50, with possible slight movement if we're getting better or worse, relative to other players. If we look at the overall sample, we will almost never see a perfect 50-50, nor should we expect it, since it would only be achieved by a player being placed perfectly in their skill bracket. But we will see a trend toward 50-50.

But to get back to the title of my post, "They believe that they are superior to the rest of the players." Uh, yea. It's called being better than everyone else, and only noobs strive for anything else.

"By de-emphasizing the importance of winning, we get back to the true purpose of playing, the playing itself and having fun. A good match is one where you had fun, regardless whether you won or lost. If you manage to mentally disconnect having fun from winning, you can get a fun:unfun ratio of much better than 50:50, in spite of the perfectly balanced win:loss ratio."
Good idea. Let's not just reward losers, but also not reward winners.

Or we could ask Ghengis Khan whether he unified the warring Mongolian tribes and kicked some serious ass by "having fun, regardless of whether he won or lost" or if he focused on winning, thereby defeating all the losers and securing a place in history. But maybe Tobold already has his place in history. He's the e-blog-famous apologist for losers.


Anonymous said...

If adolescents play for fun, why is it they're always the most inane trash talkers in PvP and the most elitist raiders?

I'd argue that adolescents play purely to win but it's something you can grow out of as you get better able to set your own goals :)

Unknown said...

Can I +1 Spinksiville?!

TOTALLY AGREE!! Play only to win is first and foremost an adolescent trait, for they do not know of any better.

C out

Max said...

I'd argue that adolescents play purely to win but it's something you can grow out of as you get better able to set your own goals :)

Interesting that carebears always label hardcore pvp players as "adolescents". There is certainly quite a bit of young people ,especially in top end competition level .- That is primarily just like some other sports because it requires honed reflexes , quick reaction and quick mind

At the level of organized team play (clans/guild) there is a lot of people in their 30/40/50s ,especially in leadership positions. Most of them have families ,business and are quite mature .

Hyperian said...

I know just as many douche bag older elitists as I do younger. You just don’t hear about the older players as often because they know when to yell and scream and when keep their mouths shut. It’s easy to say all elitists are 14 year olds when they are the only ones who seem to be talking. Trade chat or forum posts aren’t the best example of labeling elitists.... I mean can you say they are 14 year old because they don’t punctuate properly? Or that their old because they say words like "Goldbricking or shenanigans"?

Sthenno said...

I think it's pretty easy to get some phrases confused. "Play to win," could mean "the reason I am playing this game is because I want to win this game," or, "I will play in such a way that I maximize my chances of winning."

A lot of games, especially competitive ones, aren't fun unless everyone is playing to win in the second sense. But if you are playing to win in the first sense, you probably aren't having fun unless you are winning every time.

Your reason for playing a game should probably go beyond winning the game. If you literally don't like playing, and you can't enjoy a well fought but ultimately losing battle, or celebrate your successes and learning despite the fact that they didn't add up to a win this time then you'd probably have a better time doing something else.

Now that's assuming you like having a good time. Obviously that doesn't have to be what you are trying to do.

Tesh said...

Adolescence need not be chronological.

Similarly, play preference need not be persistent or even

Sirlin and Tobold won't play for the same reason, or necessarily the same game (Sirlin famously ranted magnificently about WoW a while back). Are both gamers?

...maybe fun and play are variable terms.

Though for me and my house, "play to win" is too contentious, and that never helps in the long run.

Nils said...

I play not for winning, but for the fun that is the attempt, in the effort.

Anonymous said...

I think you may have hit 6HP per second there, Klep.

In comparing Tobold and Ghengis Khan, is it important only one of them was playing?

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