Today I had a good friend came into one of my call-ins and told me a story about his past friendships. Most of my community members are gamers so this story rung true to many of us. My friend had a really tough time growing. (I won’t go into detail but just for some context, it was a really tough time for him and I am so proud of the man he has grown up to be despite his difficulties.)
When he hit high school, he met some friends who introduced him to gaming and that was where he really started to find a way to outlet himself. He made close friends with those people and they helped him learn that he was in deep depression. He sought help for his depression and spent a lot of time gaming with those friends he met.
As they began to get better and stronger at the games, they began to participate in competitions and other such events. They had to become more serious than just having laughs while playing. That’s when the toxicity started to arise. One would blame another during the game for making a mistake(s). Even when they were winning games they would point out each others mistake. In a sense, this was suppose to lead to more improvement as a team, but instead, the recipients of these kinds of remarks would take them negatively. Bad feelings harbored to one another would brew and grow.
And here is where our discussion got really interesting. It seems that those guys who were pushing for getting stronger at the games started to leave the guys who were weaker at the games behind. For the stronger guys, it was like they had to choose between their friendship or pursuing their dreams of becoming a professional gamer/player. Of course, they chose their dreams and not their friends. Finally, resulting in the collapse of their friendships. What once connected these group of guys, completely destroyed their friendship. To my knowledge, they are no longer friends to date.
I think there is a great divide between hardcore gamers who give up everything in their lives to dedicate to gaming and then there are those who love gaming as much as hardcore gamers but choose their real lives over it. Those who have to study, work, spend time with family, take care of the wife and her needs, etc etc. So they become casual gamers who have the need to play games every single day without fail but will never choose to play a game like a hardcore gamer. They know that they have to prioritize.
Both groups love gaming, so when it comes to being friends, it seems like a perfect fit. However, when it comes to actually playing with one another, usually the casual gamers feel left behind and lose interest really quickly in the games they play with the hardcore gamers. Hardcore gamers put in double, if not triple the amount of hours of a casual gamer so it is obvious there will be a huge disparity in their performances. Whether it is a grinding game or a skill based game, if you put in the hours, there are sure to be improvements. (As with everything in life).
For me, I always knew these two types of gamers existed, but I never thought that they would find it so difficult to play together. Ego also takes a play in these situations because noone would be willing to put themselves down for not being “competitive” or “driven” enough to play to such extends. Hardcore gamers may find themselves either being dragged down, placing blame or waiting for their casual friends to catch up. But it never lasts very long because there’s only so much patience a man/woman has before they start chasing the next level, boss kill, or ELO.
Interesting isn’t it? Which side of the spectrum do you belong on? Casual? Hardcore? Either way, do you have stories about losing friends as a gamer? Or maybe you have found the solution for a hardcore gamer to play with a casual gamer! Do share them with me! This types of situations are more prevalent than I personally expected and I’d love to learn more about it.
By the way, these are all just my personal opinions. You wouldn’t mald over an opinion, right? I mean, everyone’s entitled to those. I’m totally open for a different perspective on things though, so, please feel free to share them with me!