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Do You See Gaming As Relaxation, Or Is It About The Competition?

And as a Part 2 to the question- If you were one way once, have you changed over time?

There's no doubt that people view the hobby of playing video games differently. Some see it as a form of high-intensity competition, while others view is as a relaxing stress-reliever. Some try and sample a bit of both, but almost all tend to spend the majority of their time on one side or the other.

For me, I've never really been all that competitive to begin with. I've never taken gaming very seriously because I've always believed that hobbies are meant to be fun. I've never minded playing with or against other people, but inevitably, I'm always the one going- "Dude, calm down...it's not that big a deal." My whole life, I've played games to escape; they've always been a singular form of release that didn't feel passive. I'm interacting, I'm doing something, I'm making something happen. As far as competition goes, playing against the computer was always good enough for me.

But in this new age of gaming, it seems competition is by far the most popular. Online gaming is all about competition in my eyes; it has little or nothing to do with relaxation. I'm sure people will say they're "relaxed" when playing but in my experience, not a one act like they're relaxed. I think the average pulse rate of an online player is significantly higher than that of an offline player, at all times. These are two very different forms of entertainment and while I don't mind buckling down and trying hard, I'd rather do it in solitude. How about you?

Tags: video games, gaming, gaming culture, gamers

8/8/2013 10:25:59 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (52 posts)

Abidan13
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 10:58:04 PM
Reply

While I would consider myself a "core gamer", I too have always seen games to be an escape from the hardships I see each day. For myself, it really is no different than sitting down at the end of a say and reading a book; the notion of competitive reading seems silly to me.

I purposely avoid all forms of online competition. The only time I play online is cooperatively with some friends or for a session of Civ, which is usually quite... civilized. I see no reason to keep adrenaline levels high all of the time. The people I encounter during the day keep me plenty amped.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 10:58:18 PM
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That's one reason I don't care to play with others, I can't relax at all.

Back in the day I played for the challenge I think, it really MEANT something to land your plane in Top Gun or beat a boss in Ninja Gaiden with just two bars of health left. It was an adrenaline rush. The high highs and the low lows.

Today I started Tales of Xillia and was reminded by the JRPG goodness that I do it for the wonder of exploring other worlds, people's creations. Relaxation can be a part of that as it's enjoyable versus dying every 2 minutes or worrying about other players.

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Underdog15
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 8:21:04 AM

I haven't gotten very far yet, but I can already tell it's another good Tales game. It was never my favorite franchise, but it's stayed true to its roots while improving its quality over the years. And I've always liked them.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 8/9/2013 8:21:50 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 10:07:52 AM

Funny how great one of the less series becomes when the really huge ones get demolished. What I like is that even though it's an action battle system it's still a BATTLE SYSTEM. You gotta learn it and execute it. It isn't just running up and mashing face buttons, which is what I think FFXV is gonna be.

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Mogreen
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:02:40 PM
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Both, I only take NBA 2K and Marvel vs Capcom 2 online seriously therefore I lean on the competition side of things. (To add i'll say for the last 2yrs. after Socom confrontation started to die down NBA 2K series is my primary game for online the game I spend the most time with period.)

Although with the other online games I sense the competition and know once the game gets close I try harder and tend to take the last few moments more seriously, i'm usually calm and relaxed if it's not NBA2K.

Offline games I'm super calm and relaxed. Unless I die on one section more than 5 times which rarely happens.

Last edited by Mogreen on 8/8/2013 11:04:27 PM

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cLoudou
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:06:50 PM
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It is rarely about competition for me. I game as a form of escapism, to relax, for a challenge or just have some plain fun.

While competition could be fun it can also be quite stressful with who you play with or against. Some people are just way too serious which kills the experience.

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Wyatt
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:07:15 PM
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I always play to relax, which is why I don't play online very often. I might pop in once in awhile, but never like a competition. That's while I love single-player games; they're relaxing without someone yelling at you for messing it up. You figure things out yourself, play at your own pace, and get a good story at the same time. Co-op is great and all, but I prefer local with people I actually know. All in all, getting immersed in a game with all-new problems is always exciting and relaxing, which is why I love video games.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:11:35 PM
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yea i've always been more like that myself too. it has been away to have fun relax de-stress d-pressure my life and honestly i've always preferred split screen multiplayer but maybe thats just cos i'm older and thats how i gamed with family and friends back in the day and i find nline only appealing in cetain games if i'm going to BF3 was the only one i really enjoyed online and even that is wearing off lately. thats just me

happy gaming =)

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:11:47 PM
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I have plenty of 'fun' playing competitive games, usually they're more fun actually. I've always enjoyed many types of games, however. But the sort of games I tend to value the most are the one's with the most depth and reward for your effort, whether competitive or relaxing, or whatever.
People who need to be told to calm down and people who play competitive games aren't one in the same. I'd say those who can't stay calm usually suck at competitive games because they can't control their emotions.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/8/2013 11:12:14 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:21:09 PM

hehe in fact, I remember the arcade days of gaming when a dude just couldn't keep in control of a competitive game. He would start mashing the buttons wildly just hoping out of random luck he might win or something hehe. I'm sure champs of any sport realize that getting good competitively means being a well oiled machine who is ready for anything and in control of themself.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/8/2013 11:24:14 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:12:02 PM
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It's sad how impossible it is to play an online fighter if you aren't already a monster killer or expert on the cheap ways to win. That was something I might have enjoyed.

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:28:41 PM

ah, but everyone starts low. It's called allowing yourself to grow with experience and training by being defeated time and time again. Eventually loss after loss turns into win after win. And when you get a good handle on an established franchise you're able to quickly adapt to a sequel and not feel so scrubbish on the onset. Whether it's sports or anything in life, school, math, programming or whatever, you do it enough and not allow failure to defeat you first, you can overcome and rise to be a master.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:41:53 PM

Even starting at the bottom everyone already knows the exploits in my experience, not worth the effort if it's no fun.

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:55:59 PM

What are some examples of exploits you've encountered that everyone knows? I'm curious. I play a lot of these fighters and those who've learned cheap tactics will only rise so far before being sifted out by those who know what they're doing. It seems to me the trophy chasers or whatever their goal is, will either be forced to learn the game or they'll quit because they can't actually win with real strategy.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:17:28 AM

It's been awhile since I tried, I remember a certain combination of Kilik's staff moves that one couldn't escape ever.

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Sol
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:21:40 AM

It is never for trophies Temjin, every "cheap" player I have ever faced usually does it for one of two things, the ranking, or just to piss people off. I always look at the trophies of cheap players, in fighters and for the most part they don't really go for them.

And World, I know how you feel but it mustn't stop you. Though I detest fighting games with a passion, I've had the honor of facing and occasionally defeating the truly skilled. My greatest triumphs was besting the 8th best Deejay in SSF4 at the time, and the 127th best Gouken in SF4. I also managed to do pretty well when a friend got me to play Tekken Revolution for a bit with over 100 wins without a single upgrade.

I also notice, that when I get beat by someone with a great deal of skill, I am nowhere near as frustrated when I compare it to the many cheap losses I've endured... If I could ever teach you the basics of what I've learned in playing fighting games World, I think you'd enjoy them more... It still will take effort on your part though. I remember training in Soul Calibur 3 against Night Terror for a while so that I could learn how to destroy people with my all-time favorite character since Soul-Blade... Siegfried!!! *ahem* Nightmare!

Last edited by Sol on 8/9/2013 12:24:52 AM

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Temjin001
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:09:10 AM

I've always sucked at SC, World. So nothing to say there.

So Xillia good stuff?

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xenris
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 9:21:50 AM

I never encountered that with Kilik in Soul Calibur. He was never a cheap character for me. My problem with SC online was the characters that had AOE moves because the lag would make it impossible to dodge especially if they were using a lag switch to give them even more of an advantage.

Most online fighters are not like this. VF5 I think has some of the best online as far as lag goes. Blazblue too.

I think World if you want to get into a Fighter you should check out the Blazblue series. It is excellent easy to get into and very hard to master. Check it out.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 10:11:13 AM

I've only had 3 hours with Xillia but it's shaping up to be another great Tales game. You can't beat that feeling that it's all of the sudden 2005 again and you have a whole new epic quest ahead of you, unmarred by today's hellish trends.

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xenris
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 10:30:27 AM

I opted for Dragons Crown over Xillia but I plan on getting Xillia sometime. It looks really good and I have some friends who want to co op it with me.

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Underdog15
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:57:21 PM

Wait, does xillia have online coop or just local?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 2:12:45 PM

Local.

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city96
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:15:47 PM
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It used to be an escape from life for me when I was younger.
Now, I just play to pass time. Honestly, it just fills the void in my day.
I hope it changes.

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slugga_status
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:21:42 PM
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It's both for me. There are times I just want to relax and play knytt, the cave, etc. Then there are times when i throw in a sports game or some form of shooter. In that case I always play to win. Just depends on my mood at that given moment or day

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 11:51:48 PM
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Both for me, SP for relaxation/playing at my own pace and MP for the competetive playing.

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Sol
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:34:29 AM
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For me it was neither to relax, nor was it for the competition (not to say that I don't do either...). It still isn't to this day. Games guide my imagination and creativity. I use them for inspiration. I simply always thought of them as a cool way of telling a story. Being half-decent at them, relaxing, and the competition are all consolation prizes in my book.

Last edited by Sol on 8/9/2013 12:36:49 AM

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PC_Max
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:42:33 AM
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I remember the days... geeez... when at the arcade you always looked at the high score. And in my case said "There is no chance in hell I will ever beat that". Well, insert some colour metaphors and you got my reaction.

I have plated the MP stuff over the years (Unreal Tournament, Halo, Killzone 2, Resistance, WoW). Have to say the only REAL time I had fun with those was with friends. Somehow you could just laugh off the reactions of glee and disappointment... then have a bbq. :)

Those days are few and far between when that urge happens. I would rather play single. I want to escape for a time, whether a simple arcade like game or something more tense... dare I say Last of Us.

Not sure I can say relaxed, but it takes the focus of everyday life away for a time and in that sense relaxes. You make a mistake in the game, you can try again. Sometimes in life you do not get those opportunities.

All in all fun to play single player and if friends want to get to gether for a bbq and a game night.... what better way to win or lose and laugh with those you get along with.

Keep playing!

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:59:48 AM
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depending on my mood and game,
RDR for example, if i want to relax i'd head into tall trees (even if i have to glitch)

for competion, atm i'm playing, payday the heist, sp & mp with a freind.

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Gordo
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:10:28 AM
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Not competition or relaxation but for entertainment and the artistic experience. Like a good book, movie or a fine wine!

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bigrailer19
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:19:43 AM
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I go both ways. I play CoD to relax; after a long day. But I also like the competitive nature of it. On the other hand I play Uncharted (even the mp) purely for a good time, a way to escape I suppose. Just depends I suppose.

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MrAnonymity
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:46:11 AM
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When all of my friends and I would get together for Halo deathmatches, I was the only one laughing and having a good time... for the WHOLE game! I was also the only one not to throw a contoller over consecutive losses in Super Smash Bros. Melee. My lack of desire to compete could also explain why trying out League of Legends was a dead end...

I have been and still am primarily a single-player gamer. Not that I am without my love of multiplayer - but that multiplayer is preferably co-op. I just don't see a point in getting mad at my friends over a flippin' game. I get mad at games enough as it is.

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VampDeLeon
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 2:42:58 AM
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It's relaxing as long as you have company. Usually when I'm in parties online or with a group of friends offline, I'm less likely to take everything in the game as serious since we can have a good laugh over our own mistakes or problems with the game.

For me, gaming can end up serious when you're facing the AI offline or other people by yourself when online. Once you get unfamilar people involved, it gets competitive, without a doubt. Especially in fighting games or regular deathmatches.

Last edited by VampDeLeon on 8/9/2013 2:44:17 AM

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___________
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 4:14:27 AM
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this actually highlights perfectly whats destroying gaming latley.
it USE to be about relaxation and having FUN, living out your fantasies, doing things you could not do in real life.
but now there about limitations, restrictions, being as infuriating and frustrating as possible!
GTAIV perfect example, staple of that franchise f*cking with the cops.
f*ck with the cops in vice city you can easily last hours killing cops and racing tanks accross the streets.
GTAIV you will last literally 2 seconds before they kill you!
yay, how FUN!
GTAVC send a banshee flying over a jump to set a new record and get a cash bonus, yay FUN!
GTAIV send a car over a jump and you go flying out of the windscreen and the car explodes on impact.
yeah, thats totally FUN!

pickmin 3 another perfect example, such a charming little game and i was really enjoying it, till the timed days really started to bug me!
than they give you very few pickmin, and put you up against a boss battle.
finally get through the boss, and oh great you need 30 pickmin to pick up the fruit, 30 to pick up the cellphone, and 30 to pick up something else.
so thats 90 pickmin, and i started the level, not finished the boss, but started the level with 60!
so how the %^$#@ are you suppose to finish all the tasks in the level, ie kill the boss and get the resources back to the ship, PLUS get a extra 30 pickmin required to carry said items you need to the ship.
plus its not a extra 30 its more like a extra 60 because the boss will easily kill half your pickmin stash!
its just so not fun, the whole point of the game is exploration but your CONSTANTLY fussing and worried about time.
oooooo theres another wall, i wonder whats behind that?
oh no im not going to bother, what if its empty and i spend half my time bashing down the wall and getting through the enemies to find theres no fruit there.
its just f*cking stupid, you should be free to search at your whim not constantly skipping and leaving things because your worried about wasting time!
not to mention the day system is f*cked!
you can go back to areas to research and find objects you did not have time to collect, but for some reason every time i go back to somewhere whenever i finish i always end up with what i had in the first save.
for instance i went back to a planet where originally i had 40 pickmin and 6 bottles of fruit, i completed the level this time with 90 pickmin and found 2 more pieces of fruit, than continued on a new area and i was back to the original 40.
WTF!?
so the whole point of going back to a area to build up your resources, gets squandered away anyway?
so then whats the point of going back to build up your resources when there just going to disappear?
why does EVERYTHING have to be about restrictions and being as big a pain in the a$$ as possible these days?
why cant games just be about FUN anymore!?

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Beamboom
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 4:52:02 AM
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I used to enjoy competitive gaming a lot when I was younger, like 10-15 years ago. I was *all* over games like Quake Arena and in particular Unreal Tournament. I think I've played every iteration of Unreal extensively. Even PVP in mmorpgs were great fun.

The only thing I've never liked is competitive teamplay. I hate to have others depending on me, and I hate to be depending on others doing their job.

But as years has passed on and I've become older, slower and with much less gaming time at hand I've come to realize that I no longer got what it takes to be a player on that scene. Sad but true.

But single player games often feels a bit lonely to me. It has to be a game where I really, *really* love the story for me not to feel that way.

This is why the perfect formula for me is coop campaign gameplay. To play a game along with a buddy or two that also care for the story as well as the cooperative aspect, well there's nothing beating that for me.

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Banky A
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 5:12:36 AM
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relaxation babybaby

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Killa Tequilla
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:40:38 AM
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It's a combo of both. I play to relax mostly, but if I'm online I do not like to "go negative", so I try my best. Nonetheless I try to just relax and have fun. I've changed a great deal over the years. Especially this gen. I started playing online for the first time in CoD4. Ever since CoD online, I've been extremely competitive and very good at FPS.

But that was dying after a few years when I started looking into other genres. Eventually, I started to stop being so competitive as I aged, maybe because I didn't have the time to play as much.

Now, it's all about how it used to be back in the Ps1/Ps2 days, offline. I've also learned to love CoOp gaming, Portal 2, Dead Island, etc. CoOp is my favorite type of gaming today.

Also, platinums ruined the way I play. Nowadays I try to not GAF. But that's a different story.

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Sol
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 11:50:22 AM

Yeah Killa I would take co-op over Competitive any day...

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bldudas1
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:40:59 AM
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I am not competitive, so I find playing games relaxing. Which is why I don't like multiplayer.

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Maruf
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:44:42 AM
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I play to relax except for racing sims where I like to tinker and tweak to go faster but only because I love that hard work. Still, I know when I reached my limit and I can be stisfied with that. I don't have to beat anyone but myself but it doesn't bother me to let things go.

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:47:26 AM
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Hmm...mostly relaxation for me, especially due to the fact that 90% of the games I play are single-player anyway.

However, there is that element of competition in fighting games ;)

While I am normally a quiet, mild-mannered person, play Tekken for an hour or so online, and I turn into a completely different person >.>

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Maruf
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 8:00:54 AM

Totally agree. And later when I realize how I was like during that time of competitive play, I don't want want to do it anymore.

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Maruf
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:49:30 AM
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Get odd number of friends, 3, or 5 and and u r the 6th. Then play fifa and have a memorable time. It won't matter who wins who loses.

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Huey
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 7:53:57 AM
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I have always played for fun. Competition never over-ruled the fun factor. Playing local with friends and family was always about the laughter. I played Mortal Combat with the kids when it hit home consoles. At my age now, I can have just as much fun watching someone play as participating.

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Maruf
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 8:12:59 AM
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But like everything in life you have to balance things to get a favorable experience. You do need some competition, even in single players. Its a combination of different aspects. The difficulty level of Witcher 2 along with how the gameplay is for example, really makes it great for me.
Developers need to realize that SP isn't dead nor will be. With urban life getting harder and harder, even for youngsters(u wondering how?), relaxation should be a big consideration. I'm beginning to really dislike how publishers like EA market their games telling people to beat his/her friends. Whats the point? Its a game and no number of in game achievements will really matter except for any good memory you can bring out from playing a game.

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Underdog15
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 8:20:32 AM
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I'm extremely competitive at my core in almost everything I do in life... from my job to sports to board games... (although in recent years, I've not let the more social activities get too competitive. That came with age, though)

But with games, I've always seen it as relaxation. I mean, I guess I'm competitive in that I like to complete games and I "try hard" (hate that kid phrase) in everything I do, but I don't get bent out of shape over it. I was also, and still am, the "dude calm down" guy too... but honestly, that's only video games, and as I mentioned, more social activities now that I'm older.

It's an interesting question, and I'm glad it was raised... now that I think about it... video games was probably my only non-competitive outlet and likely helped me calm down my aggression more than sports or anything else I might have been involved with growing up.

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Teddie9
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 9:06:18 AM
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To specifically answer your question, relaxation. Except I play games for more or less the same reason I listen to music or watch movies or read books. I want something engaging, maybe even groundbreaking - I enjoy seriously critiquing a game - comparing it to others and praising its merits and then discussing it all with others who have the same love for video games.

Some games fascinate me, some frighten, some get my adrenaline pumping, some grip me emotionally, and some disappoint. It's all part of the hobby.

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xenris
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 9:26:21 AM
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I play relaxing games, and I appreciate them for sure. I don't think I look exclusively for one type of game over the other. That being said, the games I play most are competitive against other people or incredibly hard against a computer, otherwise I feel like I'm wasting my time.

Whether its in a game, or in real life, overcoming a challenge is rewarding, and in games where you must overcome something really hard like in Dark souls, or another player, well you come out of the experience a better gamer, and you keep becoming a better gamer if you have a level head and can see why it is you are losing so much over and over before your triumphant victory.

I like both types of games for sure, but I definitely play more of the competitive type of games because there is more to learn from them and more fun to be had for me.

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Dustinwp
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 9:36:11 AM
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Relaxation, that's why RPG's are my favorite genre. I do however play three different types of genres at a time; I never just play one game at a time. Usually, I pick three games I'm going to focus on until completion and those are RPG, Acton/Horror/FPS and Racing. When I complete one I pick a new one to play within that genre. That way, I always have something to play that seems enjoyable for the mood I'm in that day.
It's a strange way to be but...hey, keeps me entertained.

Last edited by Dustinwp on 8/9/2013 9:37:02 AM

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Clamedeus
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 12:50:52 PM
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For me, it's both. I like to relax and play some games either in a single player game or a co-op game with a friend. But I also like to play games for a challenge as well. I can be pretty competitive in games.

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Gabriel013
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:04:56 PM
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I've always hated the competition. I much prefer an easy paced game that I find fun. Considering the day to day drudge I have I also love to be massively overpowered to feel like a god.

Infact way way back in the mid early 90's I used to play Championship Manager with cheats giving all my players 99 skill point in all areas. THAT was fun to me.

These days the cheats are gone but I always play on easy or normal and I don't play competitive multiplayer. I did a little and I was half decent but it never had the same level of enjoyment to me. Beating a real person at a game is meaningless and I don't get pleasure from it.
I'll leave that to the tea-bagging brigade.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:10:59 PM

woop woop

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Harerazer
Friday, August 09, 2013 @ 1:48:07 PM
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It's actually about 50/50 for me but the true competition is from beating the computer. I find no competition from any person because people will cheat (or cheese) everytime in order to win. That, to me, is not competition. I find the best competition from beating the computer because then you're actually beating the programmer. He coded what he thought could stop you or challenge you and you beat that. Now I must also add that I am not an average gamer. I don't play shooters or action games (like Uncharted, Tomb Raider, etc) but those are more "experience the story" than truly competitive on any level anyway. I'm usually on a racing game for competition. Otherwise i am a BIG co-op fan for practically any game. Figuring out how to cover your partner's weaknesses (and for them to cover yours) is the real challenge in any situation for me. Also, being a major Rock Band fan, teaming up for co-op play supercedes all else for me.
I guess when I was younger (during my NES?Genesis days) it was more fun to simply out play someone but as I've grown older it's simply not enticing now to challenge people who refuse to level the playing field. I mean, if you purposely choose to have an advantage before starting aren't you admitting that you're not as good as the other person already?

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