Today, the children of the initial era of video games have grown up. The only thing is that many of them haven’t outgrown a love or appreciation of video games. Gaming is now considered an all-ages activity and it’s not uncommon to see retirement age people and grandparents gaming away on the internet.

Many people play video games for different reasons but the focus of this article will be on competitive video games and winning them. These are games such as shooters, real-time strategies, fighting games and various other games where there is a distinct ‘start’ and ‘end’ to each match (usually a maximum length of 1 hour). This is not intended to be a discussion of MMOs such was World of Warcraft because it is not a zero-sum game - what you did in the game yesterday has an impact on today’s play – and hence improvement cannot be accurately measured.

Here are some tips on how to be a better competitive video game player.

Sexy Gamer Girl - 3 Tips for Becoming an Awesome Video Game Player

3 Tips for Becoming an Awesome Video Game Player

Play to Win

There are many people who have notions or rules about what is fair play and what is not. Understand that the video game you are playing has no such idea about what is a cheap tactic and what is not. There are no cheap tactics, only winning tactics. People who complain about cheap tactics or ‘no skill’ strategies defeating them are by definition bad players themselves, as they have lost the game to such a predictable strategy.

The bottom line is that you must use whatever resources you have at your disposal to win. Feeling the need to please your opponent is a self-imposed rule that will only lose you matches.

Know Why You Lose

Following from the first section. Many people will attempt to rationalise their losses. There are a number of things you can choose to blame when losing – blame your teammates, blame lag issues, blame game balance, blame cheap tactics, blame the opponent for somehow cheating. The reality is that the game does not understand any of these things. The game only understands a winner and a loser.

If you have lost a game, it is because you were outplayed in some way. Perhaps that player had greater speed from more practise, perhaps they had an overall greater strategy and a counter-pick to you. Perhaps you failed to adapt correctly to the game ahead of you. Whatever the reason, accept that you lost the game and were outplayed in that match or you will never improve.

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect

This is a cognitive bias published in 1999 by the psychologists Dunning and Kruger. The observation made is that people who are incompetent at things tend to perceive themselves as being competent. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that they lack the competence to understand that they are incompetent. The second is that there tended to be a resistance to the feedback that proved they were incompetent.

The take home message from Dunning and Kruger’s work for someone playing video games is to learn to recognise when you are incompetent at a game. Following this you need to accept that you are incompetent. Finally you need to understand that you will not remain incompetent any more after truly realising this fact. Your skills will improve as your brain allows real feedback, and you will be able to blow your opponents away and impress everyone with your awesome gaming skills.

By adopting these simple changes in thinking, you too can rise to be the person who wins most of their games and frustrates their opponents.