Fun vs. Competition: Can you enjoy gaming if you suck?

tl;dr – Yes! I suck at many games that I enjoy playing, but I do feel as if there is a limit on how much fun I can have with a game due to the presence of competition in certain games.

If that caught your interest, then continue reading below for a quick, afternoon Lyte Byte..

I will be the first to admit I am terrible at many, many video games.

At shooter games, I believe, I am the worst. I cannot aim. I cannot predict what other people are going to do in that sort of fast paced environment. I love Overwatch, but sadly I am limited to a handful of characters because otherwise I’m going to end up as a liability to my team, rather than a contributing member.

Thankfully there’s a certain turret placing, laser projector wielding bad-ass that I love to play in Overwatch..

I would love to be able to bust out a Soldier 76, or a Bastion and spray down the entire enemy team and snatch the coveted ‘Play of the Game’ but I fear two things:

  1. That I’ll be shouted at for being bad.
  2. I’ll shout at myself for being bad.

There’s no two ways about it – I do like to win! I’m not a particularly competitive person but there’s always a drive deep inside me that makes me want to win and be successful at video games, and I think that’s there for everybody!

But is there a line where competitiveness can cause people to not have fun?

For example, amongst my friendship group we occasionally play Pokémon Sun and Moon and battle each other – and we all have different play styles and approaches to the game. One of my friends enjoys building competitive teams and min-maxing his Pokémon to the best of his ability – whilst another uses Pokémon that are considered non-competitive, but he uses them because he likes the Pokémon rather than for their stats. Then on top of that one of my friends just likes to fill their Pokédex!

What I find, though, is that whilst the friend that plays Pokémon competitively has as much fun as the friend that does not, there seems to be a limit to how much fun the non-competitive friend has. He barely is able to snag a win, and with game after game you can see in his face the disappointment as his favourite Pokémon are fainted over and over again.

Going back to my original example with Overwatch – whilst I do find that with several characters I don’t have as much fun as I often feel a liability to my team, it doesn’t shake the overwhelming sense of fun that I have while I play!


What do you guys think? Does competitiveness limit how much fun you can have in a game? Do you feel like being competitive is part of the fun of playing a game?

Fun vs. Competition: Can you enjoy gaming if you suck?

9 thoughts on “Fun vs. Competition: Can you enjoy gaming if you suck?

  1. Imtiaz Ahmed says:

    I think it can easily take away from the fun. Star wars battlefront does a poor job of matching me with similar ranked players that I’m so often not getting any kills in a given match.

    I remember playing left 4 dead back in the day with a couple friends, even that being a co-op game was ruined because my friends knew where every zombie was and had the stage memorized. So they are killing zombies long before I realize there are any to begin with.

    Competitive games need to be able to match make properly for games to be fun. For all the trouble I have in battlefront, I have no problems getting into a game of overwatch rocket league and feel like I can make a difference and more importantly have fun

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martin says:

    I really think it depends on the nature of the game in question. For games that are meant to be multiplayer competitive – fighting games, shooters – if you suck at the core gameplay mechanic, you won’t be able to get into it. This is even the case for shooters that aren’t competitive: I am also terrible at shooters, and I actually came to resent Uncharted 2 playing on the easiest level because it was clear it was letting me get away with stuff I shouldn’t have been for beating people. I’d almost have preferred the game if you did the exploring, and then you could just get cinematics for the combat parts.

    I do think for games with more limited to no competitive component, sucking at them can still be fun for you. You just have to get out the parts of it that you appreciate. Exploring the world or finding the stuff you like can be just as fun an experience as beating people, and it’s one that players who are really strong might miss out on while they’re mastering combat mechanics.


    1. lytebytes says:

      I totally agree! Perhaps, just from my point of view, I only enjoy playing games that have a competitive aspect to them and that’s why I only highlighted them in this piece?


      1. Martin says:

        Sure, that makes sense to me. But moving from being non-competitive to actually competitive in a given game can also be really dispiriting. Going from just button mashing to actually having ideas and strategies for approaching opponents in fighting games usually leads you through a period where you really just get beaten badly a lot, which is less fun. Button mashing as a strategy might not let you win much against good players, but it’s actually sort of hard to play against, in that you can’t predict anything. But once you adopt decent strategies, then you can get countered and pounded. You have to be willing to push through that to hopefully get somewhere better.


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