Do you ever find yourself in certain situations or scenarios where you behave totally differently than you normally would? The classic example in my mind would be the person who is normally very calm, confident, and smart but turns into a trembling puddle of sweat and anxiety the moment an exam is put in front of them. You can also have the very kind, innocent seeming people that become more crooked than the average mafia don the moment a game of Uno begins. Sometimes you even have the most incredibly relaxed people losing their minds behind the wheel over just about nothing. I personally think everyone has these small areas of their life where they seem to shift into this alternate personality of sorts.
For myself this shift occurs when I play games, specifically video games. Normally I would consider myself to be a pretty relaxed guy. I tend to let others decide activities and such and then just go with the flow or just react to things around me rather than taking the initiative to act first. In fact I don’t really like going first in almost any situation, second works quite well for me, third is also ok, fourth has its benefits as well… You get the point. Taking the initiative is not something I’d really say I excel at.
That’s just normally for me though. Throw a controller, keyboard, mouse, or whatever into my hands and you can witness a the dynamic shift in my behavior instantly. Mr. Go with the flow is suddenly diving headfirst into the action with little regard for what will happen next. If you’ve ever played Super Smash Brothers with me you know firsthand what I mean. Even if I’m getting absolutely destroyed I just can’t help myself from just continuing to think and act aggressively towards my opponents. If I see what I think is an opening, I really don’t need to know anything else since I’m already trying to exploit it. I’m also quite aware that this is happening, if you ask my roommates they will confirm that when I lose I will almost always remark that I ” Just need to stop just mindlessly attacking.” Now that’s probably just me Johning but there is certainly some truth behind it since this phenomenon is not exclusive to smash games. In RPG’s I almost always look favorably toiwards the warrior/bruiser classes since they are the ones that jump in and make things actually happen. In games like Call of Duty I’m almost always that annoying punk running as fast as he can around the map with my knife drawn. Because who plays shooters to actually use the guns? Lame. In every game I play my behaviors can be almost always summed up as, “Too aggressive for his own good.”
You know what other word could be used to describe my in game behavior though? Decisive. Remember when I said that normally I don’t like to take the initiative? Well in game that attitude reverses, as I always take the initiative. So on one hand there is the version of me that would rather hum and ha over every decision to be made, who prefers to think of endless alternatives rather than make an actual decision, which if you didn’t know makes certain aspects of life (Like dating, curse the social constructs that demand the male make the first move!) more difficult than they already are. On the other hand there is my alter ego who jumps on the first opportunity seen and doesn’t look back for more than a second. He is doomed to forever miss great opportunities since the first opportunity is not always the best decision.
Hmm…. Neither one of these is actually all that good in practice. My real life passivity allows great opportunities to pass by without even an attempt to capitalize on them. Welp I guess I’m screwed for life. Eternally caught between indecision and overzealous aggression. What a shame.
I mean, I could like try to learn how to balance these two behaviors into a beautiful mix where I take initiative but after a reasonable amount of consideration for potential alternatives… nah that’s what to smart for someone like me. Make good choice everyone, except don’t make them too fast… or too slow… man I don’t know. I just wanted to make a post where I compared the way I play Smash to how I behave.