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written by Višnja Željeznjak on September 21, 2010
nobody likes the complainers. always bitching about their life, universe and everything. how they've been dealt a bad hand in life, and how others - unlike themselves - either had helpers, or got lucky. how their work, their colleagues and their bosses were lousy. they're bitching about the government, their partner, their pet, the national football team, and gasoline prices.
luckily, that's not me - and never has been.
but give me a game to play - any kind, ranging from monopoly through tetris to first-person shooters - and i become one nasty complainer.
not only a complainer - one sorry-ass sore loser. i get mad. jealous of other people's results. grumpy. offensive. rude. looking to pick a fight with the first person hanging around me.
the thought that a bizarro version of me actually exists, scares the living shit out of me. i've seen too many superhero shows and movies to treat this as a triviality it actually is. i'm afraid of bizarro-me taking over my real world, where respawning takes its real, usually expensive and painful toll.
on a conscious level, there's nothing to complain about. even the most trivial thing, like playing a computer game, takes time to become good at. me knows that. but bizarro-me does not care. bizarro-me demands i start playing a completely new game, like urban terror, and instantly become the best player in the arena. bizarro-me thinks it should be easy to take down a sharpshooter from half the map away - with nothing but a desert eagle in the hand - while bleeding from both arms and legs - with only two bullets left. and when the stellar achievement of the said magnitude does not happen, bizarro-me starts complaining out loud, annoying the hell out of my in-game comrades and spoiling it for everyone.
so instead of running for cover from snipers, i was slowly, but surely running a risk of becoming that person nobody wants to play with. i imagined myself, playing bejeweled (my favorite puzzle) all alone in the silence of my apartment, while my buddies counted frags and kicked ass on some online game server far far away, making their parents and their country proud.
bizarro-me resurfaced yesterday night, when i decided i wanted to practice and improve my game play. but the way i chose to practice was exactly the way that annoys me the most. instead of just playing, i.e. shooting with guns that *i know* give me the best results, and steadily getting better while enjoying myself, i stubbornly insisted on 'practicing' with my two favorite weapons. i like the remington sr-8 sniper, because one shot kills, and the desert eagle sidearm, because it's similar to sr-8, but for close combat. map after map, i got the same shitty results, expecting to get just a little better. i expected noticeable results too soon. other players don't give a shit about my preferred weapons, nor does the universe. either you choose the right - not the favorite - weapon for the kill, or you die. and i died a lot yesterday.
of course, being negative during the game is the best way to start sucking even more. i become inprecise. my brain freezes with annoyance to the point where i can't think anymore. i forget my custom keyboard bindings. i forget to relax in my chair, which in return makes my back hurt sooner than usual. i become every sniper's favorite cannon fodder, which is bad - because when you play in teams, one bad member makes the whole team lose.
instead of having fun, i got miserable - and it's not the first time. "if you're no good at this one simple thing, how do you expect to run a serious company, with serious consequences, with real people?"
when i hear the lizard brain talking shit to me like that, i know it's time to do something about the game. and i'm not talking about urban terror. i'm talking about the game of life.
so, my biggest mistake, and my biggest lesson from yesterday's urban terror game, is "do not practice the wrong way". every way which is not the fun way, is the wrong way. if i put 10.000 hours of real game play - not practice with selected weapons! - into urban terror, all the players of the world would tremble at the sight of my nick joining their game server. at this point, i'm 9970 hours away from mastering one game. the point is: i don't care about urban terror that much. it's just one silly game. but i do care about playing and having fun with my friends.
so, today is the first day i stop spoiling it for myself and for everybody else.
and i do care about not letting bizarro-me take over. she's real. i imagine she was a rogue player on my own team, the kind who deliberately shoots friendlies (i hate it when those lame fuckers join the server we're playing on :-). bizarro-me is crouching somewhere high above the ground, watching me through her remington sr-8 scope. one shot in the head is enough to take me down. i better never forget she's there, i better never stand still, and i better surprise her first.
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