Written for Unwinnable, for Issue 82: Hate. Recreated in-part with permission.
Anger is exhausting. It hangs like a lead weight, dragging thoughts, clouding observations and making every moment of play turn into a slog of exhaustion. It builds in the fingers, the hands and in the eyes, drowning out the sights and sounds of the game. All pleasure drains away, until all that’s left is the painful sense that none of it was worth it.
I hate that feeling.
Many gaming cultures accept anger as a normal state of being. A player will trash talk, taunt, provoke and insult casually. A player is screaming obscenities over the microphone, hurling sexism and racism at opponents as a way to come to terms with a well-skilled opponent. Nothing out of the ordinary. If another player is winning through any means deemed inappropriate — cheap strategies, overpowered equipment or just slavish obsession toward meta-gaming strategies — then they make themselves a target for any vitriol imaginable. This is just the way people socialize in games.
[Read the rest in Issue 82 of Unwinnable Monthly.]
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Complete work published on August 23, 2016, available at http://www.unwinnable.com. All rights reserved.