Playing to Win – Competitive Level Computer Games


Not everyone is into competitive gaming but those who are have one main goal…play to win! There has been a lot of bad press regarding competitive level computer games with “experts” stating that they can cause aggressive behavior. I chuckle at this often because I have seen the coolest and calmest person lose it over a video game, then go back to everyday life as if nothing happened. So one off topic point I want to make here is that aggressive behavior is something that is there to begin with and anything can trigger that. It isn’t caused by a game. However, games do have that tendency to bring out the crazy in all of us. To me, it’s a safe outlet to get all of my stress and aggression out in a non-harmful to others way.

Everyone plays games for a different reason but the concept of playing to win in those competitive games can often be misunderstood. There are two classes of players that you will find in competitive gaming:

  • The Scrub !!  we all start out here and take our time learning the games rules so that we can play a fairly good game. Scrubs tend to have some internal honor code, meaning they stick to the rules. They play for fun and normally won’t step outside of the box to test the game to its extreme.
  • Play To Win !!  those who play to win will find ways to exploit the mechanics of the game. They may search for and use bugs in the game to their benefit for example or find ways to get around the rules.

Playing to win isn’t just about learning the ins and outs of the game, although that is a core step you need to take to start with. You really need to test the game, try things that may seem like they are against the rules and yes that means exploiting any glitches you come across. There is a fine line where using cheat codes is concerned however. Going into “God Mode” for example, can give you unlimited resources or stats and allows you to just breeze through a game killing everything in sight. But that gets boring after a while. I personally like the more creative exploits of game glitches that allow you to gain an advantage while not making the game boring.

I’ve listed some of the top competitive games out there that offer a high skillcap:

  • Starcraft: Brood War – This is a game that offers depth, complexity and requires an insane level of multitasking. It has been considered the most professional competitive game in the world.
  • Street Fighter III: Third Strike  this is a game where perfect timing is a necessity if you want to win.
  • League of Legends !!  this game created the term Multiplayer Online Battle Arena and has become the most played of the MOBA games out there. There isn’t an e-sport event out there where you won’t see this game being played.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee  !! the game itself uses simple controls and a lot of randomness that can swing in your favor or not. But gamers have found some incredible techniques to use like wave dashing and the game offers some unique mechanics.
  • Quake III Arena !!  this is a shooter type game that got its own convention. Here you dont have a team to fall back on as you do in Counter Strike (another good competitive shooting game). You are basically on your own and need to be able to shoot flawlessly and make snap decisions. It will definitely make you break out in a sweat!