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Why do we take video games so seriously?

Dota 2 Screenshot - Why do we take video games so seriously?

It's the middle of the night. You're in the middle of an intense, back-and-forth affair in Dota 2.

The tension can easily be felt by everyone playing. One mistake, big or small, could determine the outcome of the game. You're about to finish farming up an item that will turn the tides into your teams favor when...

...it happens. One of your teammates gets caught out of position and is easily killed by your opponents. They take this time to capitalize on the man advantage and begin a push that ultimately wins them the game. Just like that, it's over. The anticipation of the next team fight, the ability to deal massive amounts of damage to your enemies in seconds, all of it gone, because one of your teammates, whom you have never met before and will more than likely never see again, was out of position.

This isn't the first time they've done this either. While it hasn't been a regular habit, this particular player has died far too easily a handful of times. The mere fact that the game was even competiive was a small miracle; any "competent" team would have defeated you by now. Yet there was still hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, the keyword there is "was."

Your first reaction is possibly a hostile one. If this is the case, you're not alone; there are many times in Dota 2League of LegendsWorld of Warcraft, or other similar games where people will yell and chastise players over poor performance. This begs the question: why? Why are we so serious about video games? One answer is incredibly simple: most gamers are competive. While some play to have fun, others, myself included, play to win. I like winning, I like rooting for winners. These feelings are natural; winning and rooting for winners is pretty cool. Some people, however, take things a bit too far. 

At the end of the day, we are not professionals. We're not playing Dota 2 or League of Legends at the highest stage. Yet it's pretty cool to pretend like we are. I'd be lying if I said I never pretended I was, though honestly I prefer pretending I'm casting my friends playing as I spectate their games. 

In the case of a game like World of Warcraft, things are a little different due to the fact that we're spending money every month to play. For those that are in the "hardcore raiding" crowd, there are legitimate expectations put into place. Guilds earn realm firsts for reasons, and one of those reasons is demanding that expecations are met. But again, not everyone is in those guilds. Sometimes you're in a simple "Looking for Raid" group, stereotyped as a collection of players who regularly ignore mechanics in the search for easy loot. It's easy to get frustrated with other players in this situation because you're "wasting money" every time you wipe on a boss. 

But still, at the end of the day, World of Warcraft is just a game, as is Dota 2 and League of Legends. We play these games for fun, to relax, and have a good time. While some may look for that competitive itch, just always remember that you can ignore those people or report them for verbal harassment.

Don't let them ruin your good time.

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Jake Valentine
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Games: Dota 2

Tags: league of legends

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