Since it first came into formation, the act and art of gaming has quickly sped to reach all corners of the world; whether that is present through board games, online indie sites, AAA titles, the Steam platform or even casinos, it is an industry that has flourished and continues to do so through combined components of strategic thinking, probability, logic and creativity. But why is that? Is it because we as humans are competitive? Or that we seek high levels of immersion in order to escape our lives, even just for a little while? Or a bit of both give or take a few other things?
From franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted, The Witcher, or even Tomb Raider, to online casinos that allow players to test their risk taking abilities in a bid to win more than just a level, regardless of the difference between the two forms of playing a game, it still requires the same basis to achieve the end goal. This makes it easy to note the reflection back on that competitive nature that drives us as gamers to reach the end, or more importantly a certain level of success or satisfaction that comes with winning or finishing something.
No matter how much you win, what you finish or how good you get, there’s always this little voice in your head that tells you to play more, to be better and if there’s a prize, to conquer the challenges that stand between you and that final reward. It’s this type of mentality that promotes our ever eager attitude towards being competitive, but also one of the main things that makes it so fun because if you’re never content, you’re always willing to improve.
This connection is ever so present when you take a look at things like gaming leagues, where players spend hours upon hours training, playing and putting together their craft, or even where game players from a different medium travel the world to versus others in games like Black Jack or Poker. This reach of competitiveness is further encouraged and hosted by sites and platforms where we can access this content or even take part in it ourselves, such as Twitch streaming, Youtube Gaming or sites like Casino Canada for an Online Casino Gateway which link others with the opportunity to play online at various places that are not only updated but hold that once again desired competitive need to win, or to at least be a contender when it comes to triumphing over other players.
Regardless of which section of the medium it takes place in, studies have even shown a link between people and their need to compete with others, this keeps an ever rolling forward momentum and area of success in gaming, one that will continue to build upon itself as long as we as humans push forward that barrier of needing to be better, something that can be haunting in other areas of life, but also extremely fulfilling if you’re a gamer who likes to win and certainly knows how to achieve that captivating words that flicker across the screen screaming back at you with “VICTORY”.
Taking a look at competitiveness and its reach across various game mediums is only the tip of the iceberg though; because what about the deeper development of pro social behavior and furthered skill development and also, the building up of positive effects, cognitive benefits and advanced development of strategic problem solving skills. All of which have gained in depth exploration with a basic level of support from psychology focused studies which observe the various dynamics of competition.
Pushing this aside, there’s no doubt that this is one of the things that makes gaming so alluring, and for some, completely irresistible with every new release or announcement that we encounter within the game world as the creators continue to bring to life new worlds, realms and experiences for those who continue to enjoy them. It is something that as stated doesn’t just find itself lurking within one section, genre or medium, but instead, every single one of them. And if you’re like me, there’s nothing like diving into a new game, especially one that allows you to encounter the opportunity to compete against others, to capture that flag and to transport the objective in a way that makes you work for that successful ending, intertwining enjoyment into the process as well.
Traveling across lands, surviving a dessert with the minimal amount of essentials or sitting at slot machines and black jack tables whilst attempting to win large sums of money; either way there is that competitiveness, that true feeling of the compulsive requirement to win which flows relentlessly. And honestly, I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon, but why would we want it too? Especially when it leads you to become a better player.