First the Superbowl, and then the Olympic games, got me thinking again about competition. Games, to my mind at least, are all about having fun. It doesn’t matter whether you’re viewing a big national or international match, playing video games, watching your kid’s sports team, or playing a board game – it seems to me that hanging out with friends, enjoying some laughs, and perhaps learning something new are the objectives. I’m talking mainly about those of us who enjoy games for free, not those who’ve made a career out of it, like professional football players.
Yet some people get so attached to winning (or having “their” team win) that they make themselves absolutely miserable. If they are “losing,” they yell and swear and stomp around. Not jokingly, but in actual angst! And all this for something they chose to do voluntarily, with their leisure time, presumably to have fun. So who cares if you win or not? You’re hanging out with your friends, so relax and enjoy the experience.
I can’t begin to comprehend why people would value winning more than having fun. I think there are probably reasons for reacting so negatively to a game, but I just don’t get it. Seeing that behavior makes me wonder why they would even choose to put themselves in a win-lose situation to begin with if they know it’s going to potentially be upsetting. I guess I’m just not that interested in feeling bad.
Perhaps competition is like an addiction. I just wonder if the high they get from winning is worth the low when it’s someone else’s turn to play the victor.