Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

It’s just a game………………

No doubt each of us has heard these words – it’s just a game – after losing a heated game. Playing games may bring the best – and worst – of us into the spotlight. Why is a game seldom “just a game”?

And I’m not the only one. Urban Dictionary even states: “The most infuriating and bloodlust inspiring phrase a gamer can hear. A phrase that makes you wishes that the person who said it was in the game so you can blow their head off. It is interesting to note that in all cases the gamer did not ask anyone’s opinion regarding the way he/she spends his/her free time, making the statement an unprovoked insulting comment. This bane of the gaming world is often said by a parent/brother/sister or romantic significant other who does not understand the time and effort spent in the game”.

I may have lost a friend during the past several days. This online strategy game that we are both playing is also part of the bruise to our friendship. Also see yesterday’s blog: can we still be friends?

Games are never really games that people play (Alan Parsons Project). Games still mirror the spirit of medieval times which were all about glory and honour. Why do we pretend that a game is just a game? Why do we call the ones who dare not enter the game “chicken” or “cowards”?

Games are about competition. Entering a competition requires a skill set, perseverance and endurance. You better do not enter when you do not have the stamina to finish.

Competition is at the core of our humanity but we are not alone. Competition rules anything that lives. Wikipedia: “According to evolutionary theory, this competition within and between species for resources plays a very relevant role in natural selection [..]”, or Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’.

Any job is also like entering – or being in – a competition. It may however take a while seeing and feeling it this way. Yet, it helps in achieving alliances (friendly colleagues), bonuses, promotions and – most of all – results. This corporate game even has a nickname: “rat race”. Two illustrative words that cannot be misunderstood. 

The sign of the Rat is the first of the 12 animals in Chinese Astrology. A person born under this sign is extremely hard-working. They want to achieve their goals so much that can seem to be selfish or stubborn, but those who knows rat-people understand that they believe in what they are doing and approach it whole-heartedly (source). Being a (1960) Rat myself, I fully agree to this.

I like playing games but only when I know in advance that I am good at it. Else I do not enter the game. Why waste my time, energy and resources on things that I know in advance that I cannot win? I know my limitations fairly well. My assets are not in physical strength but in mental strength, in strategy, in tactics and in operations. I enjoy winning and analyse my losses to gain lessons learned. I’m not a sore loser. I bite my tongue and await my next chance. To feel the satisfaction of winning. 

Everyone is a winner but you need to find your own game.

Hot Chocolate – Every 1’s A Winner (1978) – (lyrics, Wiki)

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