Thanks for Everything <3
- Sep 29, 2007
- Raleigh, North Carolina
I feel you on a lot of this. We should chat sometime. =)Sorry for the long break. I've actually had many posts typed up, but I've deleted all of them, mostly because I've been in a pretty somber mood and I think they reflected that. I'm also pretty sure many people would have taken my posts the wrong way anyway, so I just refrained from posting in general. I guess that habit of mine is why I have so few posts in general. I keep trying to remind myself that this is just my small corner of the internet that probably only a handful of people even read and I shouldn't really care what I say here, but name dropping always has its consequences.
Apex is coming up, and unless I decide to further perpetuate my debt, or come across some loot, I'm not going to be attending this year. Unless I happen to get random weekends off of work and a carpool, I'm probably not going to any OoS tournaments for a while until I get my life on track.
I had some reflections of part 3 I was going to post, but instead I'll just throw them into another aspect of pro-gaming psychology I've been thinking about,
Self-Efficacy and Pride
Self-efficacy is the individual's capacity for accomplishing a goal or task. It is essentially linked with a person's self-confidence and the positive connotation of pride.
I took pride in being the best Mewtwo player, I was proud of myself in 06-07, and I took pride in my game sense and game knowledge. For the last four years, most people probably considered me a mediocre player. (Maybe even bad in the competitive sense) During the Mango era, all of a sudden my style that some people called unique and cool is now being called gay and campy. I hadn't placed top 5 at a major tournament in four years either. I was a good player when it was convenient for the people that beat me, otherwise I was essentially just that Mewtwo player.
It is easy to recognize when people don't want to lose. It is also easy to ignore when people don't want to win. In competition, you don't want to empathize with anyone. Unfortunately, I still tend to empathize with people when I sense that they're distraught. It throws me off; it makes me uncomfortable, probably because of my generally good nature. When people get frustrated, especially over these last couple of years, it just starts taking it's toll on me more and more, and even if they're not angry at me, it still creates a negative environment that makes it hard to have fun. (A player's actions, even if directed toward themselves, can have an effect on those around them.)
I'm really impressionable. If I'm trying to have fun and it just takes one display of frustration, or one negative comment, and I'm often silent and solemn for the rest of the day.
There's a reason why a lot of people love playing with Axe. He is the embodiment of positive reinforcement. Even if you're the most horrible player on the planet, his sandbagging makes you feel like you're always a top 10 player sometimes. He will almost always have something encouraging and positive to say. He's so enthusiastic, that even if you know that it's not REALLY that impressive, the overall mood of your session is just... better. It's just nice being acknowledged for something every once in a while, and realistically it's why a lot of us want to become famous players. The acknowledgement and respect feels good. Even if you're not the best player in the world it's easier to listen to what you did right and watch videos of yourself winning than hear how bad you are and get linked videos of you getting *****.
The time I've spent with Axe made me want to promote more positive smash experiences with other people, but unfortunately my best intentions have recently back-fired on me as I expressed my point of view to someone that has a habit of venting their frustrations while playing. Coupled with my extended depression, I just haven't been in the bestest of moods to play much of anything lately.
I'm not completely innocent to the effects of pride and commitment either. For most of my smash career, my pride and self-efficacy were battling against my desire to be meek and understanding. I wanted to cherish the friendships and connections that I have made form SSBM and just enjoy playing the game. However, I always have a standard of excellence that I've strived to uphold for those observing me. Because of my insecurities, I've deluded myself into playing selectively.
Funnily enough, this attitude is what got me third at Genesis 2, but it is also possible it is why I only got third. I didn't go to the tournament wanting or expecting to win. I wanted to talk to people, enjoy the experience, watch Wobbles and Axe take top 5, and relive the hype from the Armada and Mango rivalry.
My goals as a competitor were really simple. Beat every Falco, win against a top 5 Falcon, and make it out of pools. I reached all the goals I had created, but in retrospect, I feel like having too much pride in anything is double edged. I had so much pride in being able to win against Falco that I didn't even consider losing to be an option until relatively recently.
You get the questions like, "What happens if I lose?" "How do I take the criticism?" You're put into a position where you're encouraged to make excuses, be salty, or be humbled to the point where you may not recover, and that matchup becomes a problem for you.
Basically, it can cause a slump.
The only answer to these problems as a man with an ego that doesn't want to show it is just to embrace the humility and work through it. Some of the worst smash moments of my life are still hindering my progress in reaching my last goal as a professional player. I could lose to Falcos and ICs despite them being my best matchups, and the public backlash would sting, but it won't affect my understanding of the match-up more than what I would need to refine it.
My ego isn't so large that I NEED to be the best. I'm not conceited enough to think that I have to piss and moan, whine and complain, anytime that I lose. I'm better than that, and I wish other people were, too. I understand that it hurts to make mistakes, it hurts to lose in anything that you put personal stake in, and I don't want to say that it's wrong to feel that way. I want to win my own way, with my own passion, through my own painful mistakes, without compromising my integrity.
I want to be the best I can be at what I do, if I'm the best at it, that's good too. Being the greatest ever can be a poisoning goal to those around you, because your development may not be satisfactory due to... the existence of someone else on the planet that is better than you. Make realistic goals for yourself, acknowledge that you'll make mistakes and adjust your play around those mistakes until they're corrected. Trying to force mistakes down under stress seems to result in destructive behavior.
I wish I could play in tournament the way I do in friendlies, but when I watch my videos... I'm stiff and I'm messing up tons of inputs until I gain a huge momentum swing and I start feeling myself. :D
I would apologize for the length on this one, but lol it's in the Mewtwo forums so you're already bored.
I have a few more things I want to go into detail on later. I'll try not to wait as long this time.
Let me know what you three people that read this think about this post and about the impact of branding players as gay, ragers, baddies, and other negative generalizations has had on the smash community and your general smashfests.
This bothers me.
Also, I kinda ran into the EXACT same issue of not feeling like I wanted to accomplish much else lately. This is easily solved by making up more goals, but exactly where the drive for each goal now comes from and why they matter just as much as my old ones I've had for so much longer....I can't quite say haha. I just know that making more is right and I'll be able to piece together why it was better when all is said and done.
Also, having a big ol bro community and being in a serious face tournament is a duality that will screw over lots of smashers. I'd love nothing more personally than to goof off most tournaments and play friendlies and yell "FSMASH!!!!" all of the time(because everyone's Fsmash is really hype obviously lol) but I prioritize winning more due to my desire to prove myself(maybe to reinforce my own "pride" in myself.....that's a big sticky topic lol you definitely kept it concise imo). Point is, usually you gotta make a choice what you wanna do before the tournament starts, and then stick to it as best as you can. All of these regrets and what ifs shouldn't be happening....you made a decision not to go for it all and you had a great time and placed 3rd. That's pretty darn awesome how that worked out lol so I'd be happy AND IGNORE THOSE NOOBS that think they know better than what YOU know(seriously the best thing you can tell yourself btw especially because it's true haha....plus it keeps your emotions safer).
I am rambling and haven't slept in almost a day so I am going to stop typing now. Basically you're a cool dude and let's talk or something(remind me to get on skype I never do that rofl).
Write more posts imo.