Losing With Style – A Player Guide

Crew DM/Gaming Advice


Losing With Style

There is trick that is usually unnoticed in the gaming community. Dungeon Masters have mastered it, Judges understand it and gamers appreciate it. This trick is losing with style. Yes, that is right, some people like to lose. What makes these people special though? What truly separates these gamers that have learned to lose with style? Your drunken captain will lead you as we explore these issues along with a few extra points tossed in.

If you have ever gamed before on any platform you probably have thought of one or two people who, to put it lightly, are not good sports about losing. From screaming over a microphone profanity to flipping a table these gamers make the games very… not fun?.. These are the kind of players who when they start to lose immediately make the game as uncomfortable as possible for EVERYONE else. Skulking, talking aggressively or any other method of making it very clear that you have wronged them (somehow…). There is a general policy I tend to game by that keeps it easy for me to avoid situations: If it is not fun, I don’t need to be playing. Simple as that.

I don’t drag it on and if I do choose to stick around I sure as hell don’t make a big mess out of it. (Although me staying is a very rare occurrence). Yet for some reason other gamers can not seem to understand the fact that games are supposed to be fun. So regrouping back to the earlier statement: when a sore loser starts to lose, they ruin the fun.  It all ties back to the fact that they are losing, which means that if they are not winning the game CAN NOT be fun. Now if games are supposed to be fun, and they are only fun when a person is winning, why doesn’t everyone get as upset?

Simple, Games are not for winning.

See, when some people lose a game they are more focused on the fun they had DURING the game rather then the result of the entire match. Take a game for Magic the Gathering for example. There is a big difference then playing against a deck that has a turn 3 win condition and playing against a deck that is of equal skill to yours. One: the game lasts longer. Two: You felt that it was a fair match and Three: the outcome is NOT what was remembered from it. The players in a equal skill match tend to have a “I almost had you” reaction to the game rather then a “I knew I was gonna lose” result. In the turn 3 win con the other player did not have a chance to stop it and honestly why did they bother playing?

So the type of game influences it as well as the players themselves and how they treat the game. No one likes to be singled out in a game and targeted explicitly just because its funny to the other players. It isnt fun for them and honestly why should they ever come back? Now I am by no means saying we need to coddle and protect these people from ‘rage quitting’. No, I am merely saying that there are a lot of factors at work.

The one thing that they can for sure control is themselves. The mindset they are in when playing the game, their reactions to events in the game and whether or not they should still be playing the game.

So how do you learn to lose with style? Not be a sour puss at the end of a match?

First step: Remember why you are playing! Why did you sit down to play a game in the first place? The answer should be to have fun, as that is what games are supposed to be for. The moment you are not having fun means that you are focusing on the wrong aspects of the game. Normally this means you are focusing on the win loss factor rather then the events actually unfolding in the game itself.

Second: Understand that there are other people playing, and they like to win sometimes as well! Alot of times people tend to go through life in a first person perspective. If they are not being the main character, I.E winning at the game all the time, they tend to get upset alot easier.

There you go, simple as that. Two steps and you are already on the right path to losing with style, or not being a sore loser. Stepping back from the situation itself and taking a broader look at it will already start to make things a little better.


Hello, my name is Howl. I am a ‘professional’ gamer and reviewer that works with the NERD community. This is my personal blog and podcast and if you would like to get updates or see more please follow me on Twitter: @HowlPhilinish. I hope to see more of you and feel free to comment! I read every comment so don’t be shy!

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