This was actually 3 days ago, but I have some posts scheduled and its just too confusing to go back and change the tenses of those. So I'm writing this today in the present tense, but you are reading this a few days from now. With that out of the way...
I play games of all sorts. Board games, not people games. And Dad taught me that there was no point in playing a game if you didn't try to win ("there's a reason you keep score", he said). As the eldest child, Dad taught me a lot of card and board games. He gave me no slack. It was win or lose. I respected that. And it made me a good gameplayer. I AM competitive. Generally, I play to win.
If you detect some guilt coming in here, you're right.
I was 20 by the time my youngest sister, Jennifer (deceased 2010 and sorely missed) started playing games herself. I always won, but I showed her HOW I won, so she could learn (and she did) (which was more than I got from Dad). You can ignore the father/son dynamics there...
And I still love to play games against people who are (or think they are) my equals (and a darn lot are better). Otherwise you would be seeing me in chess or poker tournaments.
But, you know, lately I just don't care about winning so much. Sometimes just playing is good enough, though I do try to win. It's just that I'm not obsessive about it anymore. Losing a game doesn't destroy my day.
So there I was at Pogo.com joining some games randomly (after staying up all night at them) and one game was doomed for me from the start because it was late in the game. So the game ended and we started a new one. Just 2 human players and 3 computer robots (who play quite well, BTW). The routine is to kill of the Bots first, and the other guy agreed. Something like this.
But then he turned the game over to his son (somewhere older than 12 and younger than 20 I would guess). He was playing for a badge. I know about the badges, but I don't pay any attention to earning them. They just show up in my "space" sometimes.
But this kid really wanted some particular badge and I was standing in his way. He even attacked me before we killed the Bots.
I felt for that kid. I TRIED to lose. Well, I didn't play suicidally, but I gave him every opportunity to win. He got a winning position from his Dad. And to be fair, I'm really good at comebacks. Bit I really did try to let him win. He didn't... He even thanked me for the game.
So I feel like I failed by winning.
I didn't get a chance to explain to him how he lost (the games ends and all the players are gone). If he learned anything from our game, I'll never know.
So my question. Should I have tried harder to lose, or should I have tried harder to win faster?
I personally thrived in merciless competition, but some people don't. So what do you think?