Though it's not really my forte, I decided to jump in and play a little bit of Call of Duty: Black Ops III this past week. I'm not really into competitive online shooters. They stress me out to be perfectly honest. I do like shooting zombies, though, so I decided to play a bit just to test the waters. Shortly after I began playing, I realized why I rarely play anything competitive online: I suck at video games. Not only have I been playing games for over 26 years, but I play A LOT of games, so this is a hard one for me to admit. With a little reflection, I have come to the realization that I'm just not as skilled as other people, especially when it comes to competitive online shooters. That's okay, though. I don't care. I'm still going to game, and I'm going to have fun doing it. However, I've come to the realization that my self-worth as a gamer isn't connected with how well I play, how big of a kill streak I have, or how quickly I can waltz through a boss battle. Video games should be fun — plain and simple — especially for the “casual” gamer.
One reason why I'm not that great with gaming is that I just don't have the requisite amount of time necessary to put into a specific game, particularly in the case of online competitive games. Most adults don't. Many younger gamers don't as well. We have jobs, school, and family to focus on. There are some people out there that do have the time, or they make the time, and I think that this is great. Having a hobby keeps us sane. However, not everyone has that option, and those who don't have the time shouldn't feel bad or be mocked because they aren't as good as someone else. I like to play a variety of different genres, so for me to jump into a fast-paced, competitive game, it's hard. I just don't have the time to get good at it.
There can be some stress when it comes to online gaming. Some people find hopping into a match of competitive Call of Duty after a long day at work to be relaxing. Grab a drink, shoot some friends, and have a good time. I, on the other hand, am the type-A personality that finds it stressful to just “jump into a multiplayer match.” I would also like to note that even some of the most skilled gamers “rage quit.” That doesn't sound very relaxing to me. Even worse, though, is that with many of these online competitive games, the “casual” gamers are being silenced a bit. There is a lot of trolling, and there are some people that can just be rude. It's no wonder many people like me try to stick to single-player games.
Even when online games aren't involed, there are still issues for me when it comes to being “good” at gaming. I've found that I'm just not that good at “normal” gaming things, including most side-scrollers, most first-person shooter games, and most puzzle games. I have to use walkthroughs most of the time I play a game, even with ones that aren't that confusing. I just need them. Sometimes, I have to get my husband to jump in and clear a hard spot. I will never, ever get a platinum trophy in my life. Ever. This is sad for me because I spend so much time gaming. It's one of my favorite things to do. I spend a lot of time talking about it, and just flat-out playing. Yet, I'm still not that good. It's frustrating to say the least.
Yet, with all of that said, I just don't care about my skills at playing video games. I love gaming. It's an escape from daily life that television and movies just can't provide. I'm obsessed with my favorite games. I spend a lot of time writing and discussing games. They are a large part of my life. However, I just kind of suck at them, and I’ve come to accept that there is no shame in that for myself. I get by with walkthroughs, help from my spouse, and support from good teams online. I'm no “noob,” don't get me wrong. I'm just not that great, and I probably never will be. But I'm totally okay with that, and I’m going to keep playing and having fun, regardless.