A Fear of Failure

I am not a very adventurous person. Not just when it comes to video games. I’m not adventurous in general. But when it does come to gaming, my anti-adventurous ways get even worse. I stay well within my comfort zones, rarely straying out even for just a moment. I stick with games that I am comfortable playing.

But more importantly, I play games where failure is a pretty hard thing to do. Because I hate failing. I’m almost terrified of failing. It’s reflected obviously in the games I play.

Take Warframe for example. In Warframe, if you play in public games, most of the time, you’ll be revived by a teammate. You fall on your ass and can shoot enemies while a buddy helps you up with a weird, green mist. Even if you’re playing solo (or your team fails to revive you in time), if you die, you get 4 revives per mission, and will respawn with full health, a repaired sentinel and your base starting energy, as well as a brief period of invincibility so you don’t instantly die again.

But even then, it’s actually pretty hard to die most of the time. From Earth to Ceres, saying alive is a piece of cake. Heck, with a basic frame and a health mod, it’s genuinely hard to die on the first three planets. As you go through the solar system, you only really get into trouble on the later planets if you’re not paying attention. Or you get killed by a stupid green fart cloud. With some frames, it’s almost impossible to die unless you badly time ability reactivations – for example, not recasting Iron Skin on Rhino, or running out of energy for Hysteria with Valkyr. It’s only during endgame content – level 60+ enemies – that staying alive becomes difficult, but there’s plenty of ways around that.

Skyrim is another prime example of having very few fail states. If you die, you go back to your last save. If you save as often as I do, then you won’t lose much progress at all. And you can turn the difficulty down whenever you want. Admittedly, I don’t really bother with Master and Legendary difficulty, because the only differences is that you die faster and everyone else becomes a damage sponge. There’s no better AI or anything. Luckily if that’s what you want, there are mods for that.

But dying in Skyrim is also not that easy once you’re in the swing of things. There will always be mistakes, like accidentally Whirlwind Sprinting off a cliff (especially when you use hotkeys to switch shouts like I do) or riding your horse down a mountain. Or accidentally spawning twenty dragons in the middle of Whiterun for shits and giggles. Most of the time though, you’re fine, because you’ve made a save and will just go back to that.

Even more adventurous games, the few that I play, I play them in an overly safe way to minimize dying. Okay, Minecraft isn’t exactly that adventurous (well it is more these days than it used to be, with far more mobs and places to go – then again I haven’t played since Minecraft 1.9) but the way I play, it’s so safe it’s stupid. I spend my time building a secure base rather than properly exploring. The risk of death always looms over me, so I never carry anything of importance on me – that means I very rarely carry anything made of diamonds or other useful items.

My hatred of failing affects every game I play. That’s why I stopped playing Team Fortress 2 – I hated losing all the time. But I also hated my inability to properly influence games. And dying to random crits.

Really, It’s the random deaths that get me. The unpreventable ones. If I die because of my own mistakes, I get annoyed but I respawn and try again. If I die because I make a mistake, I learn from it. The random deaths though piss me off no end. They make me feel helpless and stupid, as if I did SOMETHING wrong but don’t know what. Chances are, I would have died no matter what – especially in the case of random crits. The not knowing, not understanding why I failed, the inability to be able to avoid that death in the future, that is what makes me upset.

And I don’t want to be upset. I just want to play my game. And I don’t want to fail.

I hate failing.

Luckily, it's hard to fail as a dragon!
Luckily, it’s hard to fail as a dragon!


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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