Insight: The Importance of a Gamer Handshake

3 05 2011

With more tournaments on the horizon, The Pause Button’s own IncreaseBlue has a few words to her fellow gamers as they enter into different competitions. She offers her thoughts below:

IncreaseBlue-

As tournament season is starting to get into full swing I’ve noticed a rather troubling trend. With more and more harrowing matches between extremely skilled AZ players, no one is shaking hands after the match.

This seems trivial and merely a measure of politeness, but it means much more than that. A handshake in and of itself signifies a feeling of mutual respect between two people, and in video game tournaments (as well as any kind of competition) it means even more.

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been in plenty of Tekken matches where I lost to Dragon Sweep spammers or Alisa projectile novices and have felt pretty steamed about being defeated by petty tactics. In the end though, I always shook my opponents’ hand. Why? Because that’s what competition is all about: playing your hardest and accepting victory (or defeat) gracefully.

As competitive gaming starts to get more and more recognition, the image of the scene is constantly being evaluated. To outside observers, gamers are nothing more than immature 12-year-olds who can’t get through a match of Halo without dropping multiple expletives and insults and when they lose, they throw temper tantrums. Sadly enough, I’ve seen this first hand and it does nothing more than prove these people right and kill the fun of competition.

I have seen video game competitions as a way to measure skill, learn from others, and get involved in your community. But if someone can’t take being knocked out of bounds in Soul Caliber and starts screaming insults, where’s the unity? Where’s the respect?

I might be looking into a simple handshake too much, but I feel that by acknowledging your opponent, however cheap or skilled they may be, you’re paying it forward. Not only are you showing that you can maturely take a loss, but that you respect your fellow gamers and your given gaming scene.

There’s nothing wrong with getting mad over a loss or friendly trash talk here and there, but it’s important to remember that you need to give as much respect to your opponent as you wish to receive. After all, it’s all about having fun in the end isn’t it?

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