I Never Rage Quit
We joke about how games can cause us so much stress we just quit outright. Even thrown the controller out the window (See these 14 gamers that took rage quitting to the next level on College Humor.) A game has never actually upset me to that point and I can’t recall ever having rage quit. Sometimes I make noises of frustration or yell at the screen, but I act it up for a laugh. Some people do genuinely get stressed and angry with a game to the point that they’ll quit out of anger, and If I’m being honest, it’s a type of gaming behaviour that I don’t really understand.
If a game is hard it can obviously cause our stress levels to rise. My main annoyance is when the A.I. is cheating or the odds are stacked against me because it feels so unfair. I came to realize that I do actually enjoy challenging games however. I like that feeling of mastery that comes with it, and when done well it’ll hook me to the point that I hate giving up. My boyfriend will have to prise me away to get me to take a break. This is how I can tell the difference between a game that is well designed to one that isn’t, because to keep somebody playing even if they’re failing a lot is quite a feat. Although the best games for this probably vary from person to person. Failing can be pleasurable in and of itself because it means we still have something left to master, but once we complete a game that’s it; No more left to enjoy and it gets taken out of the console.
I do get an emotional response to a difficult challenge, but not one of unpleasant stress. Emotions aren’t as simple as being able to place them in good and bad categories. It’s like how I can enjoy horror games, but it’s difficult to understand why you’d want to feel something as unpleasant as fear. Why do we watch tearjerkers if they make us cry? In small doses stress can improve our performance and give us a bit of a buzz. It’s like how some people would get bored if they weren’t in high flying jobs, but to everyone on the outside it looks too stressful and we’d rather have an easy life. My palms will get sweaty and my muscles will tense up, but I don’t feel angry or inclined to quit the game, in fact the exact opposite – a boost in determination. I enjoy the feeling and find myself wanting to give it just one more go. I don’t think of such experiences as being cruel because it’s all made up for afterwards by the high level of satisfaction you feel at succeeding.
If a game is stressing us to the point that we feel like we want to quit all the time then we’re probably playing the wrong one for us and should try something else. Games are optional and we choose to play them, so why would you continue to put yourself through an experience that makes you angry. Once you’ve quit you’re no longer playing and that sort of goes against our objective of what we wanted to achieve by putting it on in the first place. Our abilities with the game can no longer improve through quitting and so we’ll never be able to overcome that challenge. If overall we enjoy a game, but stress is rapidly increasing with a detriment to our performance, then it’s probably a sign that we need a break. We’ll do a lot better the next time we try. 🙂
… Then again, I have a sort of stubborn pride that prevents me from wanting to show or admit to losing my cool. 😉