The 7 Habits of Highly Competitive People

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Beikoku Taichou, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    SteelCoil, Remy77077, ratxt1 and 8 others like this.
  2. ajfirecracker

    ajfirecracker Active Member

    This is a great quick read. I think the language you use is geared a bit more towards the general audience (than Sirlin's writing).
  3. 2000 IQ Killjoy Gamer link6616

    2000 IQ Killjoy Gamer link6616 Well-Known Member

    Good writing, and yeah, much more acceptable for many people as cracker said.
  4. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Like I said, I had a different goal than Sirlin. I knew the comparison was inevitable, so I went ahead and linked to Sirlin, but, I went for a much wider scope than Sirlin's much more focused scope in which he spoke directly to tournament players.
  5. Plum

    Plum Well-Known Member

    I wonder if those are more tenets than habits. I'm curious as to what genuine habits/traits competitive people have in common though. Most competitive people I know tend to have a dominant streak and sometimes a touch of OCD though I don't know anyone who is strong in both. I've always assumed that they led to a competitive drive but maybe it's the other way around?
  6. ajfirecracker

    ajfirecracker Active Member

  7. Mililani

    Mililani Well-Known Member

    Good article!

    It seems like you are suggesting that being competitive and being a 'sore loser' are exclusive though? Maybe I am reading it wrong.

    I know of plenty of players who would be described as 'sore losers' and get unreasonably angry with themselves or other things after a loss, but they then go back and learn from the loss anyway, in some cases with more drive and vigour than anybody else.

    Like I think something along the lines of 'competitive players learn from their losses' is more accurate than 'competitive players accept defeat', the former still excludes those who blame the loss on external factors 'The wind was like perpendicular to my face, I can't learn how to control the wind can I? aljsdhkhsdakf'
    Remy77077 and link6616 like this.
  8. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    He's saying that being a sore loser is not a property of being competitive, but a separate thing. I'm guessing a competitive player is at least slightly more likely to be a sore loser, but the point is that if someone is being one he should be blamed for exactly that, not for being "too competitive".

    Oh, and nice post, I can already see myself linking to it when this topic inevitably comes up somewhere.
    Targie likes this.
  9. Gon

    Gon Active Member

    I disagree with your blog post. I would argue that your list reflects a platonic ideal as to how competitive people should behave, rather than how they do behave.
    Remy77077 and Plum like this.
  10. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    Guys it was an homage to the famous book title so don't get hung up on habit/tenet or should do/do

    Obviously not everyone who strives to be competitive acts this way perfectly 100% of the time, but ideally they would.

    Re: sore loser, yeah they are not mutually exclusive, but getting angry from a loss is a trait more common in a sore loser.

    There was an SF4 tourney where Wolfkrone got 4th, (I believe it was SoCal Regionals one year) and he stormed out of the room as soon as he lost. He was clearly incredibly angry, but knowing Wolfkrone, he didn't let his anger lead him into poor thinking like blaming external factors.

    The reason I think getting angry isn't a good tactic is because angry people tend not to think clearly, but if you can maintain your composure and clear thinking despite actually being angry, I say go for it.
  11. Gon

    Gon Active Member

    The title of your blog is "The 7 Habits of Highly Competitive People." The 7 habits you listed I do not think are actual habits of competitive people. The book you referenced on amazon is likely 7 habits that most, if not all, effective people actually do. So I think that matters.
  12. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    Gon I think the problem you are running into is the problem I am trying to address. A lot of people view competitive people in a negative light because they see people trying to compete who act like jerks. These people are bad representations of competitive people because they don't understand competition.

    Another misconception (perhaps what you are running to now) is that competitive people only care about winning. Now, obviously winning is a good thing, but only caring about winning (and not the overall thrill of competition) is what leads to scrub thought, poor sportsmanship, and cheating.
  13. Gon

    Gon Active Member

    Yes this is an empirical question and I think that your hypothesis is not correct. I may be wrong too.
  14. ajfirecracker

    ajfirecracker Active Member

    I apologize so hard for this....

    Gon, I think Beikoku is using a prescriptive definition of "competitive"
  15. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't call it a prescriptive definition. I mean, I linked the dictionary definition in the blog.

    I'll link it again,
    "having a strong desire to compete or to succeed."

    so let's go down the list.

    1. Does a competitive person strive to win? Yes, he has a strong desire to succeed.

    2. Does a competitive person accept defeat? I guess this is debatable based on the definition, but I say yes. Again, see Michael Jordan as an example. He turned his failures into future successes.

    3. Does a competitive person embrace fairplay? Obviously. An NBA star doesn't take pride in beating a 3 year old.

    4. Does a competitve person respect competition? Yes. They not only respect it but enjoy it.

    5. Does a competitive person understand rivalries? Debatable again, but at the very least a competitive person will benefit from a rivalry.

    6. Does a competitive person understand It's only a game? I would hope so, but some people can be jerks.

    7. Does a competitive person cheat? Obviously not. Because cheating is not competing and undermines habit 3.

    so we have 4 obvious and 3 debatable ones.

    I guess Gon is hung up on the 3 debatable ones, but the whole point of this article is to say that people who truly embrace and enjoy competition have overcome the mental barriers that make the three debatable factors debatable in the first place.

    There may be a guy who really likes winning, to the point where he doesn't enjoy fairplay, takes things too far, and maybe even cheats, but I'm trying to say that this person isn't competitive (in the sense that he strives to compete) and instead is just a jerk whose desire to win is so big that it turns him into a jerk.

    BTW, the actual "7 habits book" uses the same sort of language, avoiding "you should" language in favor or "a person does" language, so I mimicked that.
  16. Gon

    Gon Active Member

    I'm not trying to be a dick or troll or anything, I just don't think you should assume that these five things are true of competitive people. It's an empirical question.
  17. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    Oh, I never got the impression you were being a troll dick. I am just responding to your questions about my ideas with an expansion of what I wrote initially. We cool, bro.

    Anyway, my blog is an opinion piece. I thought that was obvious? Obviously I'm going to debate as to why I believe what I do. I didn't "assume" anything, but I am drawing comparisons (from my personal observation) about what I perceive to be "competitive" vs. "guy who just really likes winning" or "guy who is really a sore loser."
  18. Remy77077

    Remy77077 Patreon Supporter

    Isn't that a little bit obvious? :p

    Anyway, great article and I like the debate here too. I hope you continue to blog Beikoku :)

    The attitude/reactions of people after losses is very interesting to observe to me, like that Wolfkrone example above. I've definitely seen this both ways in top players - however I'd actually say the majority are the "get angry" types.
  19. Reeniee

    Reeniee Member


    I enjoyed the article, but I have a question about number 4.

    The game I play competitively the most is Magic: The gathering. I play tournaments pretty regularly, but have no delusions that I'll ever get to the pro-tour or anything. I play to have fun and to hang out with friends. As such, occasionally I play decks that I know won't win the tournament (and often not a match) but that I enjoy playing, and if I do win a match then I'll usually be pretty happy about it! I don't see this as disrespecting the competition, but it might fall under that from your definition of it. What would be your opinion about that?

    I guess a parallel for a fighting game could be picking a character that you don't normally play, but feel like playing at that tournament, even if it lowers (or erases) your chance of winning the tournament, if you still play each round the best you can to win.

    I hope that made sense.
  20. Gon

    Gon Active Member

    I would say that you aren't actually a competitive person then!

    In regards to your question, the issue of "not playing your strongest" deck seems like a hard thing to evaluate. Objective "power" may not be easy to quantify, and power is sort of distinct from success. Sometimes MtG decks might fare really well verse popular meta decks, despite it performing sub-optimally verse many common decks. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that your success depends on the distribution of your opponent's decks, and thus makes quantifying the objective power of a deck pretty hard.
  21. Reeniee

    Reeniee Member

    Well, I still very much want to be Vintage National Champion one time. But I guess I'm not as competitive as some magic players.

    But, hypothetically, someone who wanted to get to the pro-tour could still take the occasional tournament "off" playing a fun deck and pose the same question! :p
  22. Beikoku Taichou

    Beikoku Taichou Well-Known Member

    Playing a different deck is a lot like playing your "off" characters in fighting games. I think it's fine and doesn't contradict with being competitive.

    You probably still built the decks with some sort of strategy in mind, so you are still caring about how you play the game, and playing outside of your comfort zone can actually be enlightening about how you play with your main deck.

    When I play casuals in street fighter sometimes I will pick characters that I have trouble fighting against, or I will be a bit more crazy with my flame kicks to see what "works". That way I am still learning even when I am not playing 100% seriousface mode. sirlin wrote about this in his book.
    Remy77077 likes this.
  23. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    Also "I have no delusions that I'll ever get to the pro-tour or anything" doesn't say much about not being competitive either. I've always played in MtG tourneys with a competitive mindset, yet I recognize that playing on PT level would require a much bigger time commitment to testing the formats than I'm willing to put in.
  24. Gon

    Gon Active Member

    I think there is also a short term verse long term benefit here. Playing an off-deck may not be great short term, but if you gain experience and insight as to how to play better with it or improve upon it, it may help you out long term.

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