Somewhere along the way, I forgot why I played video games. I don’t recall if it was after a rousing game of Command & Conquer: Red Alert, or if it was even earlier (perhaps whilst trading nations on the board of Risk). But somewhere in there, I became too competitive and ended up like the puppy who lost his way. Perhaps this came to me after getting owned dozens of times in Halo 3, or maybe it was after beginning 4-0 in FIFA 07 on Xbox Live, only to go 0-4 afterwards (to some crappy players, I might add).
As those who have lived with me can attest, I sometimes become a bit “irate” when playing competitive games, and I’ve decided it’s high time to have a change of heart. If that requires me to never play on Xbox Live again (this one day of frustration has left me believing this may be the best option), or to just show restraint when an AI-controlled FIFA player wanders aimlessly into the back of his teammate, I’m going to improve. After all, what is a video game’s intended purpose? To leave one fuming in anger on the floor? Of course not. These diversions only serve as escape from the tyranny of Chilomastix mesnili and Trypanosoma cruzi.
I must admit – one of the best games I’ve ever played is Animal Crossing. Yes, it’s quite the admission…but Animal Crossing’s total lack of frustration and undeniably-laid-back attitude is what makes it a perfect example of what a video game should be. Wandering around the little town and talking to stuffed animals or picking apples while having no pressing deadlines or enemies shooting at you is incredibly relaxing.
So from now on, I’ll only play video games* as a means of recreation, not competition. Or, if I’m competing, it will only be to see who can catch the largest fish the fastest in a fictional animal village.
(Disclaimer: Animal Crossing isn’t nearly as gay as it sounds. It’s certainly a “try it before you knock it” experience.)
* Battlefield 2 does not count as a “video game.” It’s so much more.