The round begins and this is the moment I’ve trained for, me challenging someone to a duel. This is like the modern equivalent of what they did in the old days when some guy made fun of some other guys hair or something and he slaps him with a glove and is like “have at thee sir” and they duel with swords or a gun. It’s pretty much the same thing except no ones really gonna die because its a video game. However in both cases something at the end of the day is gonna hurt whether that be a bullet in your gut, or your pride. Anyways the round begins and I get clapped almost instantly. And there it was, that slap in my face. Can you imagine challenging someone and then losing. It sucks and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your frustrated because you thought you did everything you were supposed to do. You did all the combos you know. You worked so hard for this moment. Little by little you built a sense of pride, only to gamble it all away on a match. “Why hast thou lord forsaken me” I would say. And to make it worse this dude Spartan337 is messaging you clown emojis and calling you trash because he knows you are, and so do you.

I remember one night not being able to sleep and going into the living room to hang out with my dad. He was sitting on the couch playing fallout new vegas. I sat and watched him play for a while. I had no idea what was going on but all I knew was that I wanted to try. He didn’t let me though because it was “to violent”. Which it was he was just going around blowing people’s heads off and taking their money and what not but he told me he’d buy me my own game the next day. The first game he’d bought me was and still is my favorite game of all time (mostly because of nostalgia) Midnight Club. It was an open world racing game.  I loved that game so much and I think I’ve bought around 6 or seven copies throughout my life, but what I liked most about that game was that it was a single player game and that meant I’d win all the time. Cheat codes were my best friend and I used them like a mofo. Unlimited nitros, bam. Unlimited health, boom. Every car in the game, forgetta bout it. I had it all. But you wanna know what happens to people when they have everything? They get bored, and when they get bored they look for things they don’t have. And when they look for things they don’t have they find crack. But I didn’t do crack. Instead I searched for something else. And what I found was online multiplayer which is when you play against another player or players, and let me tell you multiplayer can be like crack, if your good. You play and get that first win not because you cheated but you have skills and it feels good. Winning because of skill feels alot better than winning because of cheating, but this wasn’t the case for me. I stayed away from online games because while it may feel great to win, it sucks to lose. Playing online can also be likend to gambling, but instead of gambling for monetary value you are placing your pride on the table. Winner takes all the glory and the loser has no choice but to take the L.

Now when your faced with a situation like this you can do one of two things. Cry and just blame it on you not being good enough, turn off the xbox and move on with your life, which is the easiest and most common choice which is fine. Its human nature to want to go with the easiest path. And that’s what I was gonna do but this time I didn’t want to. What’s also human nature is wanting something and doing whatever we have to do to get it. And that’s when I learned that I am trash and I’m not good enough to beat Spartan right now, but I can one day. It’s not impossible for me to grind even harder on this game,  playing it more often, learn more combos, and another thing I learned while playing this was that the more you do something the easier it will become. And thats what happened. I spent hours playing against the same AI training bot practicing and using different combos. I found that I was using the same moves most of the time which made it easy for people to predict what moves I’d throw at them. So I learned more offensive combo moves and practiced mixing them up to keep my opponents guessing. I also started just played against people who were a way higher level than me. Lost time and time again, but those loses taught me what I did wrong, and where I needed to improve. However this method proved to be the most effective because as time went on it became easier to know what to expect. Whether I did enough of this and not enough of that. I learned you have to lose to win and when you eventually do win you’ve found your crack, and that’s what makes it feel so good.