Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
Besides being a plumber and a writer, I also enjoy the hobby of gaming. Board games, video games but especially the area of Table Top Miniatures gaming.
One day soon, I hope to write a full blog post on my love for Miniatures gaming but, in order to facilitate an understanding for those whom are not familiar, it is like playing chess on a much bigger board with pieces that amount to ….for lack of a better non-jargon word….plastic army men.
I have been playing these types of games for roughly 20 years now. I have noticed a distinctive pattern in the last decade at least….
Games have evolved from, “Let’s get together and have a good time..to….I MUST WIN THIS AT ALL COSTS!!”
Me, being the unabashed geek that I am, used to revel in quoting movies like Conan the Barbarian when I was younger. I knew the quote (I referenced at the beginning) well..used it all the time with my friends!
It is my opinion that it has become a modern day truism. Not just in my local gaming community..but also outside of the gaming world completely….into everyday life.
We no longer play games for sport, it seems….there has to be blood.
We must demoralize and devastate our opponents.
The word, Opponent, has been replaced with Enemy.
From Webster’s Book:
Opponent: one that takes an opposite position (as in a debate, contest, or conflict)
Enemy: : one that is antagonistic to another; especially : one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent.
We can all clearly see the difference here.
It is no longer satisfactory for “our” team to have the most points. We must still tear the head from the opposing player and throw it down the temple stairs..for the sport of the Mob.
Are we being taught these types of victories are the only ones that have worth? Because we must be entertained by the embarrassment and humiliation of others?
I am not saying “Don’t try your best. Don’t play to win.”
If you are not going to try and win, why play?
You must have Decency. You must have Grace. You should be an Example.
I have worked hard to instill sportsmanship and the spirit of fair-play in my children.
They understand that if all risk of loss is removed from a game there is no use in playing the game.
Sportsmanship is key.
Sportsmanship: conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport
To willfully compete against an Opponent who is so far under-skilled as yourself at the sport as to make it impossible for them to achieve victory is a disgrace. No glory can be had from winning a competition you could not lose.
Winning at all costs is a thing for a life or death scenario.
What is best in life is to have some dignity, some character and some idea of what it means to be compassionate.