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RPS Asks: Is Your Competitive Streak Fading With Age?

We're all going to die

I did spend a chunk of this morning gloating about how I was smashing Adam's Devil Daggers times but, by and large, competitiveness is rare for me now. As I settle into my thirties, my days of jostling for frags are behind me, and I haven't been passive-aggressive to Dota teamies in yonks. TELL THEM, PIP. Anyway. According to a recent report, this is common, and older folks seek competition in games less than younguns. It's a flimsy report but a nice-conversation starter: how's your competitiveness faring as you grow older?

According to game analytics consultant firm Quantic Foundry and their over 140,000 survey results, interest in competition drops fairly steadily moving down through ages. As I say, one could pick at its methodology and the conclusions it draws, but that's no fun. Instead, let's use it to start a nice chat!

Are you competitive? Have you ever been? Is your competitive streak actually increasing? What do you get out of it? Tell us. Tell us and don't at all wonder whether I'm compiling all this data from various 'RPS Asks' posts to figure out your weakness and, ultimately, destroy you.

I was a bit of a frag-hungry dickhead in my younger days, of the worst kind: those who pretend they're just playing for fun and it's all a laugh but who clearly take it seriously and get shirty when they lose. Total nobber. But that's ebbed with time, and most of the fun I get out of competitive multiplayer games is figuring out how they tick while chatting with pals. I'm more interested in competing with the game, knowing it better, than I am smashing the other team. Ribbing Adam over Devil Daggers is fun, but it's my own best time I'm chasing. Even a drawn-out, hour-long crushing defeat in Dota is fine if I can feel happy with my own play (and it didn't sour pals' moods too much). The other team's only there to make it interesting.

I must say I did really enjoy playing cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer in Dota, but I wouldn't call that competitive - it was a straight-up drubbing.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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