The other day I was playing a game with four complete strangers. One of the players came into the game boasting that he was very good and simplicities sake lets call him “Boastmaster.” Its also worth mentioning that it was known that most of the people playing the game hadn’t played before, myself included. As the game moved forward Boastmaster was moving closer to last place. From the halfway point of the game onward, Boastmaster started getting really upset about that. He commented a few times about so angry and flipping the table and as the game game to the end, threw a few chips down and stormed off only to come back and finish his turn. At the end of the game Boastmaster came in last place and wasn’t too happy.

Boastmaster said “I just want you all to know I will never get that time back!” I wasn’t sure what to say about that and just listened. Boastmaster left muttering to himself about his lost time and the rest of the people around the table gave a sheepish smile and talked about the game a bit. I joked that I had a lot of fun and as such, “would never get that time back.” People laughed and I put Boastmaster on my list of people to never play games with.

When I was at University I had a friend who was really good at Counter Strike. He was also good at a Half-Life mod where you played as a Vampire or Vampire Hunter. He showed me his game ability one time and ripped through everyone. Really, he just destroyed them and it was awesome to watch. As he did this people typed “haxx” and other less savory things. Thing is, he wasn’t a hacker or things less savory, he was just really great at the game.

As I continue my journey as a gamer I realize there is a fine line that separates awesome people from people that are lacking. And one such thing is your ability to lose. I get it, I totally love winning too. But how awesome is it to play with someone that can’t lose well? Its really not.

And I mean just that, we should lose well. When I lose, I congratulate the winning parties. Why? Because when I win I don’t want someone fussing about it. Fussing over a win breeds an air of illegitimacy to the win that doesn’t need to exist.

If its really important to you that you win at a game take that negative energy and focus it on practice and improve. Because you can’t argue your way to first place, all you can do is just win your way there. But if you can’t be the best then just be awesome and lose well.

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/29/2013 at 05:53pm

What the hell do you say to "I will never get that time back." Were you supposed to let him win so his time would be well-spent? That makes no sense.

What game was that?

Nick_Donahoo wrote on 03/29/2013 at 06:25pm

To be perfectly fair, I find myself to be a gracious loser in most cases. At lan parties I usually high five the guy that got that perfectly timed headshot on me.

However, I am also that gamer that follows up said high five with a detailed description of my exploits with their mother the night before, but at least I do it with a smile on my face..

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/29/2013 at 08:26pm

Trash talking is perfectly acceptable, and in fact, encouraged, as long as it's done with a wink and a nod and not with malice.

Nick_Donahoo wrote on 03/29/2013 at 08:50pm

Oh, the fact that I have two sisters usually levels the playing field. Heck, half the fun of playing multiplayer is the trash talking.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/29/2013 at 10:37pm

I think talking trash with your friends and giving them a high five when they win is totally fine. Getting angry and storming off because you lose is not :D

Again, this is more how to lose with grace, not how to have fun with your friends :D

Nick_Donahoo wrote on 03/29/2013 at 11:14pm

Oh absolutely. For some folks, it's easy to forget that it's just a game.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/29/2013 at 11:31pm

Right and games should be fun, if they are not then its work and ... then... why?

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 03/30/2013 at 04:51am

My biggest frustrations come when I feel like the playing field itself is unbalanced, and in those situations I tend to vent my frustrations. 99 times out of 100, this is in some multi-player, competitive FPS, and it usually has something to do with the less than awesome internet options available in the great state of Alaska. I don't mind losing when I can see that someone is playing better than I am, or if I'm just having a really off day. In fact, I can even enjoy it, because I can sometimes learn from it. But when it's obvious to me that they have host, or the superior connection, and trash-talk on top of that... then I tend to lose it. Then I have to stop playing those games for a while :).

Nothing beats good sportsmanship. I'll accept losing all day long if I can have fun with the people I'm playing with.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/30/2013 at 04:13pm

That's a good point. Host advantage is huge and can really make a big difference in shooters.

CapnCurry   Supporter wrote on 03/31/2013 at 10:23am

Was this a game of poker, by any chance? The worst losers I've ever met were at poker tables. I once got cussed up one side and down the other by an old lady who was very, very upset that I beat her two jacks with a three-of-a-kind I got from a hand that "only a complete jackass" would play on. (8/3 off-suit; I have to agree it was a jackass's hand.)

I told her that while she was busy playing her cards, I was playing my opponents, and while I wished her the best of luck with her strategy, I seemed to be doing OK with mine. That didn't help her mood any. :)

I placed 2nd out of 32 players in that tournament. And yes, I did earnestly congratulate and shake hands with the winner. There are some things more important in life than The Grand Prize.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/31/2013 at 06:27pm

@CapnCurry: No, a board game. If we had money on the table I bet it would have been much worse though :D

I also played my opponents and specifically played The Boastmaster. It wasn't to hard to figure him out as he worse his strategy on his sleeve.

krcDeuce   Supporter wrote on 04/01/2013 at 09:18pm

I never liked playing jdodson at Starcraft because he had more experience with it and would always whoop me. His Zerg strategies always beat my Protoss strategy attemps. Hopefully I wasn't a sore loser back in the day (gosh, 10+ years ago). Counterstrike was a fun time, 'cause I was ok at that. Never the best. I played Risk once recently, and I think I got my rear handed to me, but it was hilarious seeing how people reacted to my early and obvious attempts at making alliances with other players.

My son likes to game, but he doesn't like to lose. I'm hoping that he will eventually understand what it means to win gracefully, because right now he doesn't. Maybe I should lose on purpose some of the time. :-)

Missile_Drop_Kick wrote on 04/04/2013 at 04:03pm

I told you to never speak of that situation again. Boastmaster is out.. Peace! (I'm going to start using that as a gamer tag now.)

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/04/2013 at 04:33pm

:D Awesome.

PS just so everyone knows, it wasn't you. Heh.

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