Pre-game anxiety

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by RoieTRS, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. RoieTRS

    RoieTRS Active Member

    The title may be a bit misleading, but I honestly can't put together words for a clearer meaning. Perhaps you were thinking of the pre-game Jitters, or whatever idiom would fit there. But this is something else.

    My friends and I recently got into Warcraft 3. We're a bunch of high school nerds who used to play games like Doom and starcraft, because they were simple and easy to play online (and free, as long as one of us had the CD). Though with starcraft, I got more involved in the game as the rest, and now I'm playing on Iccup (3rd party ladder for starcraft, known for being super competitive).

    Anyway, I hate warcraft 3. I think it sucks, and feels like I'm playing with 4 units and... It just doesn't sit well with me. I'm not insulting the game, I just hate it. But I was telling my friend "I hate warcraft 3, but I would sooner play that than Starcraft."

    I really want to play starcraft, and get better (Currently 5-23 on ICCup), but I just can't bring myself to open the icon. Before this not wanting to play, I'd often spend 4 hours or more on

    Is this fear? Intimidation? A not wanting to lose? Does it have anything to do with my self-esteem? Does anyone else get that way with anything?
  2. PoisonDagger

    PoisonDagger Active Member

    You want to be good at Starcraft... but do you like the game?
  3. BeastofBurden

    BeastofBurden Well-Known Member

    It's good to see the younger generation appreciate ancient classic games like Starcraft without complaining about the "shitty" u.i or "steep" learning curve that these forums use to be loud about. Even better when they see that Warcraft 3 is a piece of a shit RTS.
  4. chucklyfun

    chucklyfun Active Member

    I get this same feeling for games that I haven't played in a while. At first, I stop playing a game because I get distracted and start another hobby instead. The longer I stay away, the more resistance I have to go back and play it. The resistance increases even for games I enjoy and for games I have never played. For games I have never played, the resistance starts when I buy the game, but is really low. If I don't start the game right away, it might be a while before I get around to it.

    I think it has something to do with the rational section of this article:
    When I originally decide not to play a game, I do so for some arbitrary reason which becomes less important and forgotten over time. However, while the actual reason is forgotten, the obstacle to action remains, despite making no sense when I talk about why I haven't gone back and played it.
  5. Xom

    Xom Patreon Supporter

    How about appreciating classic games like Starcraft and complaining about the interface?
  6. Robyrt

    Robyrt New Member

    I get this way with Street Fighter, actually. Theoretically, it should be lots of fun - but actually starting it up is surprisingly difficult.
  7. RoieTRS

    RoieTRS Active Member

    Starcraft is the greatest RTS ever, but the interface sucks.


    (and yes, I do like starcraft. A lot)
  8. jubeh

    jubeh Member

    I have the exact same issue. I was incredibly excited when I discovered GGPO, but to this day I've only played against people I know personally. It's the same issue with HD Remix. I really want to get better, but I can't bring myself to get on and play.
  9. SpicyCrab

    SpicyCrab Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I used to do this when I was a freshman in high school.

    I would post on forums about WCIII but almost enver actually play it.
    Eventually I realized that there's not much point, you might as well just play.
  10. FWmeh

    FWmeh New Member

    When I feel that way, I 5pool a couple of times just to get playing.
  11. Robyrt

    Robyrt New Member

    That interface was the reason I played Total Annihilation instead. Who needs balanced sides when you can hit one button to add newly built units to a group of the same type, or queue up a patrol route for your fighters straight out of the factory? :-P
  12. RoieTRS

    RoieTRS Active Member

    Who needs interface at all when you can hit one button to select all units? (Command and Conquer 3)
  13. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I used to have the same problem and I think a lot of people do. Especially in a RTS game where there's a persistent ladder (so every game to you is important for ranking) getting the courage to play can be tough. A few things you can do...

    1. Play an unranked 'warmup' game with friends/people you know/random team game. Once you start getting into the zone it's easier to get yourself to start a game.

    2. Make a 2nd account. Keep 1 account, the one you consider to be your online alias, rarely played. Play it on a day you really feel good or in the zone. This way you have one account that might not be high ranked but will have a good win-loss record (or better than your normal win-loss %). This will feel like your flagship pristine name. All of your anxiety about losing tends to get directed to this account. Meanwhile the other account is just for fun or not for real. It's more abstract and less of you. Failure on that account won't sting as bad. Playing on the 2nd account should help you to keep playing rather sitting frozen before the game.

    Really you just need to accept that you are going to lose, a lot. The more you play the easier it becomes to accept it but the two tricks above should help you at least start to get more games in.
  14. RoieTRS

    RoieTRS Active Member

    A little update...

    I've forced myself to play on ICCup for 4 hours a day minimum (half the days I quit at 3.5, though =/ ), and I have noticed significant improvement. I'm now winning games with a 33% winrate rather than a <20% before.

    I should be out of D- within the week. =P
  15. riOtOfwOrds

    riOtOfwOrds New Member

    i have the same feeling sometimes, i think it mostly just being afraid of losing, especially when you are new to a game. it may help to know that you can reset your iccup stats whenever you want by just typing "/clearstats YES"
    you can do that once every week, so you can just try to learn the game without any pressure of your stats being horrible. hey if you want to add me on iccup, i just started playin sc recently and im trying to improve, right now im at d+. my name on there is iplayscnude. one thing that sucks about playing on iccup is its really hard to make friends there, because so many dont even speak english or are just really antisocial and just want to play the game.
    edit: another thing to do is when you have that feeling that you want to play but are nervous or w/e, just go on and host a game with observers, and just watch a couple games first. its also a really good way to learn.
  16. Problem2

    Problem2 New Member

    I've been suffering the same problem with Street Fighter and Smash Bros. I think the lack of a real get together with a bunch of people in a tournament is what is preventing me from wanting to play my favorite games. Right now, it seems like there is no point.
  17. Gabb

    Gabb New Member

    that command was actually in total annihilation first, it was ctrl+A 2 buttons...
  18. CWheezy

    CWheezy Well-Known Member

    Hopefully you're not playing 4 hours straight.

    Anyhoo, most people get stuff like before they compete. I always feel nervous before a basketball game, but as soon as I'm on the court, it all goes away.
  19. wapostyle

    wapostyle New Member

    I know what you mean about ICCup... for me the difficulty in starting it up comes from a feeling of futility. I have a strong desire to become a great player, but my life situation does not allow for the practice time necessary to do it. No matter how much of my free time I put into it, it will never be enough to compete, because I simply don't have any free time.

    So yeah in short, any pre-game anxiety I have that is like what you describe is mostly due to a feeling of futility in playing.
  20. bcgraham

    bcgraham New Member

    At some point, you will have to derive joy from some part of the game separate from strictly winning.
  21. SimpleKiss

    SimpleKiss New Member

    I know what you're talking about, and I think it has to do with you subconsciously knowing that such a game is very, well, exhausting.

    I love playing Street Fighter 4, for example. The game is lots of fun, but 4 and HD remix require a -lot- of attention and intellectual investment. I can't just get on SF4 or HD Remix like I can on wow and just fart around.

    If I'm playing those games I have to be alert and aware, all my attention needs to be funnelled, and I have to exert a lot of brainpower. I think that maybe your body knows that certain games require a lot of devotion to a gaming session, so you are filled with anxiety when you try to bring yourself to play.

    At least, that's my opinion.
  22. Pin

    Pin New Member

    I know exactly what OP is talking about.

    Interestingly, this only happens with multiplayer games but not single player ones, regardless of how hard said single player game may be.
  23. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Generally i don't get nervous on games, unless i think i need to prove a point.
    Sirlin Fei long in EVO would be one of those situations i would get to nervous and fail for it.
    I have played some games with money in the middle, even 2 grands, and didn't blink. But if I feel that losing or winning on certain spots, will greatly help to prove or disprove something i actually believe in. I'm fucked.
    In fact i wanted to ask Sirlin if he was nervous about it when playing Fei long, I just didn't remember to, but I will. If i were in his place, i would shaken.
    I remember the two worst situations.
    1#. It was around 2002. Game: WBC2. I've talking again and again how good Orcs were, and that except for minotaurs everthign else was a breeze. I was in some forum heated discussion because it. So it came the tournament were i had to prove it.
    First round I faced a NOOB, a litteraly noob, a player that had no chance against me. But I have a witness that saw me LITERALLY SHAKING. My whole body. I don't even know how i managed to play the way i was shaking. My friend who was watching me asked me"What do you fear? he has no chance".
    And it was true, i overwhelmed him, Even playing a lot less than optimal. But it was notorious how much i was shaking. Point in case, I won every game until the semifinals, shaking less every game, but still nervous, where my own friend, who had the same view as me, beated me in a close game, and went into winning the tournament.

    2# Argentina Nationals, Magic.
    I had an argue with the best players in argentina, that the deck i builded for that tournament, was in fact the best anyone could bring to the tournament. There was a disbelief about that claim. So i felt i really had to prove it.
    My plan fall when The very first day i ended 3-3 in limited (the story on how i got such a sucky result is intersting, but not for this time). So To make top 8 i need to do 6-0 with my deck to get in. I felt I shoud, i really believed in My deck. But the deck was hard to pilot, and i had to win all 6 games. I was nervous as hell and Again I litterally played Both games SHAKING. It seemed like I had a cold or something. I felt ithat i woudl lost a lot of i didn't prove how good my deck was, because i spended like 2 months building it (in fact part of the reason I got 3-3 was that i focused too much in this deck).
    Imo I had too much in play.
    In the second round i faced an incredible Noob with the most horrible deck ever. All this didn't help because I managed to Misplay SO MUCH as to allow him to beat me. I cried when i lost that game, Literally, I cried. I felt that I worked 2 months in the deck, and my own stupidity made it all worthless. I still cry inside evertyime i remember about it. I worked two months, imo had the best deck ever compared to the field, and I managed to get my worst performance in my history of nationals. It was the first and only time i did place below the spot 16 in a national.

    When i feel i need to prove something, I fail. It has been a while since i needed to prove anything to anyone. But i'm sure that IF i get into that situation I would get nervous again. On the other hand, both stories are 7 and 9 years old respectivly. I wasn't even 18, and i changed a lot since then. Still i kind of feel that if i get in that kind of situation again, i would get so nervous again. I think that in some subconscious wat I try to avoid those situations, where I feel i have to prove something.
  24. AlbeyAmakiir

    AlbeyAmakiir Active Member

    I don't think it's fear of losing. I think it's fear of emarrassing yourself infront of a certain community. You start to imagine things like "You did that? No one does that anymore. Here. I'll beat the snot out of you for even trying that." (Maybe nothing this specific, but a general feeling, that this can be an example for.)

    The longer you go without playing, the more ridiculous the imagination gets. And the more you fear it.

    Well, that's how it works for me, anyway.

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