The other night a certain person who is very close to me divulged a secret informing me that he never tries to win when he plays games. He in fact does not like to win and when we play board games and the like he purposely doesn’t put in 100%.
Immediately I have an ethical problem with this. Granted I am a sore loser, I can in fact be rather bitchy when I do not win BUT the only way for me to work on becoming a “good sport” is to occasionally lose WHEN someone gives it there all AND plays the game correctly.
I know my poor sportsmanship comes from a deep-seated competitive family. I do find it odd that I still suffer from such a subconscious need to be the best. To be better than. Even after all these years of learning how to critically examine, to dive deep into the theories of oppression, to understand our engrained system of capitalist control, I still am not able to lose gracefully.
I do not take any pleasure in seeing the happiness of another’s victory over my own. Perhaps it’s the only-child syndrome. I do not have the selflessness of the oldest sibling. But selflessness in a competitive game is well, fucked up. What is the point in playing at all if one of you is purposely trying not to win, the only way this would even work is if you both were trying to purposely lose, either way you might as well not play at all. It’d deceitful at it’s best. I am not a 7-year-old child who needs a board game self-esteem booster. Granted I may need a self-esteem booster but I’m not going to get it playing Cranium or Twister that’s for sure.
In the end, I told this certain person that I refuse to play any more games with him until he chooses to actually play to win. I need to know that my victories mean something, that they are genuine. That I am a 100% winner, because I know deep in my heart I am.