In This Farewell The Psychology of Gaming 2
Sheikh Mohammad Fahim
I used the word “Choose” to symbolize two very important things.
The first being that choosing to go professional with a game is not a decision that particularly puts you on a straight route. You will never make it on the first attempt. That’s a given. Choosing to go down the path is a constant fight, a struggle, which ends with you either hitting the wall or advancing just a bit forward.
Everytime you hit the dirt, you have to choose to get back up and advance towards the goal. The other option always exists, giving up. That would mean, however, that all the progress you made will be lost, all the time you spent will have been wasted, every ounce of dedication you threw at this profession would have been in vain. Living with yourself, knowing you paid no heed to the words of concerned friends and families as you went down the path of the professionals, might actually be the motivation you need to continue down the path. The horror of actually having to admit that you were wrong and they were right might be the reason you continue to push yourself to improve further, sometimes putting your mental and physical health on the line. That single terrifying dread of having to admit that you were wrong might cause you to do the stupidest things to entertain your dreams of going professional with the game.
I personally have chosen to practice with my team instead of eating, sleeping, studying, and socializing amidst the many things I’ve sacrificed for the delusion that gripped me so firmly. However, even though I have written all of these things, which I confess, must be distressing to hear for inspired new players, it is ironic that I have practiced for over 5 hours, just yesterday.
Sumail, the youngest gamer to surpass the $1 million USD in tournament prize money winnings which is an accomplishment that is recognized by “The Guinness Book of World Records”, stated that “Take the game seriously. Don’t play for fun. Deep down if you think you are good then continue, if not then just leave the game, it’s not for noobs.” Sumail was only 16 years old and 2 months old when he, alongside his team “Evil Geniuses” won “The International” for the game DotA 2. Winning the tournament won the team $6,634,661 brought Sumail’s total earningsfrom professional gaming to a staggering $1,639,867.
The message is clear, to be honest.
A 16 year old understood how addicting the passion for the game might be and how it could potentially destroy your life. Sure, you’d never forget the fun times you’d have, the experiences you’d share with your friends.
However, potentially at the end of the day, you might look back and regret the fact that you spent time playing a game, hoping to be the best, and ignoring the things that really matter.
If you are on the path to actually making it, playing the game might no longer be fun for you. I don’t regret the amount of time I have invested in DotA 2. It has won me tourneys, fun times with friends and teammates, amazing experiences, life lessons from great personalities and I am still in pursuit of the grand prize. However, I do acknowledge the fact that I could have done many things if I didn’t focus so much on DotA 2. DotA 2, to me, is not fun in the traditional sense anymore. It is an art that I aim to perfect and with every failure, I grow happier as I am learning something new. With every game that I won, I felt closer to my goals until a bigger rival arrived. That is what got me going, knowing that I need to get better; there is always someone to beat. DotA 2 is not my method of having fun. DotA 2 is a serious game and I respect it as such. That is what you risk if you’re actually playing a game professionally, you could lose the fun out. The only way you could have fun is winning and anything short of that is just a lesson to get better.
The second thing the word “Choose” symbolizes is the fact that I am human, I make mistakes. I actually intended to write chose, just to leave a dramatic ending to a semi-finished article but somehow I messed up and ended up writing “Choose”, a typo which led me to find a new approach to finishing up an article which would have otherwise been very easy to finish.
The final thing to remember when gaming is simple. Whatever game you are playing, if it is
competitive, judge if your talent and passion are on the same scale. If you don’t and you go straight down the path to playing competitive, you will regret it later. If you just want to have fun, measure the amount of fun you’re getting out of the game and the amount of time you’re spending on it.
At the end of the day, chances are you will have invested more time than you’re getting back as fun and at that point you become addicted. It won’t be the same for everyone, though. Some people who can control their addiction can still make time for other things instead of being completely sucked into the thrill of the game. A professional player who has received some form of recognition or awards can look back and think that the amount of time they spent on the game might be worth it but an addicted casual player would be looking back at the fun he/she had, and that’s about it. The amount of time he/she invested just for that much fun would be a very bad bargain indeed. Don’t let the addiction dull your senses and leave you making bad decisions which will affect everyone around you and especially yourself. You’re better than that.