BBB: So What If You Aren’t Good?
I love games.
Puzzles, video games, board games, everything and anything gamified. I can’t get enough of them.
But you want to know a secret (albeit a very horribly kept one)?
I’m not really good at them.
Any game you put in my face, I will willingly play. And I will lose a lot. I’d say around 50–75% of the time, I will fail in spectacular fashion. Ask anyone who’s played a game with me, there’s not one game that I am notably good at.
But I don’t really care.
I used to. I used to care a lot. I hated the idea of losing, the idea of not being good at every single video game I touch. I knew I wouldn’t be the best at the game (although if I’m being honest, I had my hopes). But I wanted to be good at it, strong enough to give a good fight against any other player I played.
But I’ve learned to accept that I’m just plain horrible at games. And that’s not really an issue.
You have to question why you do something. Do you do every single thing in life because you have to be the best at it?
For me, the answer is no. There is a time to be competitive, and a time to simply enjoy things. Personally, I see games as mainly a vehicle of pleasure, an avenue of enjoyment.
And when I realized that I just wanted to have fun, I realized that pinning my hopes on winning all the time was detracting from my main purpose of playing games.
Life is competitive enough. We compare ourselves constantly on the rat race to “success”, weighing every little thing against our peers to see if we’re ahead.
I wanted an escape from that, not an extension.
When I understood what games meant to me and what function they had in my life, they became a lot more fun.
You don’t always have to be the best — especially not at things that are supposed to give you an escape from the race of life. It’s so easy now with social media to compare hobbies with one another.
Goodreads makes us feel insecure about not reading more. Letterboxd opens our eyes to the illusion that we’re illiterate in film because we haven’t watched over 1000 movies in a year. Spotify gives us annual statistics to show what a failure we are as a fan of our favorite artist because we’re not in the top 0.000000001% of their listeners.
What brings you joy shouldn’t bring you joy because you’re better than others. It should be the exact opposite — a book should be enjoyed for the sake of the learnings it gives you, a movie should be enjoyed for the sake of its emotional pull, music should be enjoyed for its ability to make you groove and sway.
So do what makes you happy for the simple reason it makes you happy. Do it because it allows you to not compete, to take a moment away from the competition, to just be content in that impervious moment.
If you’re lucky, you can find something else you’re good at from what you enjoy. Maybe you learn that you like reviewing films, or writing short stories, or playing music. For me, I learned that I quite enjoy thinking up games to play with my friends.
The point is that when it comes to what makes you happy, so what if you’re not good at it?
You don’t have to be good at something for you to have fun with it.