Gaming: Let’s Talk About Losing

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I’m not sure how many of you play video games, board games, or any other kind of game.  And if you don’t you may want to skip on.  I’m sure you all know how much fun you can have when you win, but damn it sucks to lose.

Failure isn’t easy, in any shape it comes in.  And you’d think that with a game – something designed to have fun with – losing wouldn’t feel like the failure it does.  But you see countless videos on social media and YouTube watching people freak out because they lost in a game.  Why?

When you sit down to play a game of any variety, you do so with one of three mentalities.

  1. You don’t want to play it at all, but feel obligated because of the people your playing with, or you’re bored.
  2. You are somewhat invested in the game and can have fun with it, but it’s not very important to you.
  3. Or you are hyped and excited to play, and you will normally believe there is a chance you can win.

If none of these are you, then you are either not playing a competitive game, or you’re a sociopath.  Don’t get me wrong, I can come into a game knowing full well I’m there for the experience.  And even be excited when I do lose competitively when it’s a good fight.  But to just get blown out?  Destroyed in such a way that everyone knows how bad it was?  That sucks.

It’s humiliating.  Even knowing that it’s going to happen to you or someone else, it’s rough.  Why?  It’s just a game and we take them too seriously.

Yeah, that’s definitely true, but it’s more than that.  When I fail that badly, I question myself.  With more than just the game.  I’ve let myself down.  I failed.  Sometimes it’s bad enough that I feel like I didn’t deserve to even be playing the game.

Losses like this get straight to the core of people.  Be it with their friends or alone, you feel embarrassed about your performance.  Like you’re body or mind simply wasn’t up to the task of even competing.  It can bring up insecurities you didn’t even know you had.

Winning goes to your head – Losing gets in your head.

Now I don’t mean losing a close game.  It’s not like coming in 2nd in Mario Kart.  I mean like playing Smash Brothers and talking enough shit to everyone you know then being unable to take a stock off of the one guy you wrote off as an easy win.  Over multiple games.  Again and again.

No no, this didn’t happen to me.  No, I’m too good at Smash Bro’s that wouldn’t happen.    I wouldn’t get so hype that I blow off plans to play a video game with five of my friends and yelling in the group chat about how I’m gonna toy with them and make them suffer only to go down like I hadn’t been playing the game for years.  Nope, not at all.  That just ain’t me.  Not something I’d do.  But I’m SURE someone else has done that.  Right?


Please tell me some of you have.  Because if I HAD done something like that maybe I’d have to run to my office to deal with it.  Or sit down and write a blog post about a video game and how much losing sucks just to process the shame and self-criticism that losing brings in it.  Maybe, but I wouldn’t know.

What was I talking about?  Right!  Insecurities come into play when you lose that badly.  Maybe my hand never did recover from that accident a few years ago.  Maybe my controller isn’t doing what I want it to do.  Maybe at this old age, my brain is starting to shut down and I’m just not capable of it anymore.  You start to feel down on yourself more than you should from something as simple and fun as a game.  But you do.

So when you lose badly, walk it off and try and fight to get back into the headspace that works for you.  You can’t let a single off-day get you down.


Anyways, this one’s a little more light-hearted and not the normal tone I want for this page, but I wanted to put it out anyways.  Enjoy.


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