Video games have done a strange thing to me. It’s always been about the experience and the story telling for me. Yet some years ago I started to play games online. More so I started to compete in games and while I have always had fun playing games with friends and family it changed while playing against people I didn’t know. I recall a strange feeling going to an Arcade and picking a game to play all the while understanding it’s a public place. So naturally I would play the game and someone I don’t know would stand behind me. They would watch me and I know in the back of my head the decision was being made. Put a quarter in the machine and try to beat me OR walk away for whatever the reason.

The second someone put the quarter in the machine and I knew that person was going to compete against me a rush of adrenalin would hit me and I would forget everything I knew about the game. Perhaps the same thing that happens to me with all testing. It felt like I was being tested and I HATE TESTING because I know i’m better than I am in that moment. I don’t drive today because I don’t test well and they won’t give you a license if you can’t pass the test. So the opportunity came to play online games and sorta feel that “Test Fear” out.

When I started playing I learned quickly that ego and comfort go out the window right away with playing games online. I was going to lose no matter how good I thought I was. I was going to challenge people who took the games wayyyy more serious than I ever could think it. People online “SOME” spend hours learning the science to these games. Mastering moves is such a small part of it. Timing, frame data, counter combinations, level design, character variations…Understanding hardware and software again it’s really a science. I work at 40 + hour week outside of my time with video games and as an adult I barely have time anymore and MORE SO will have less because of my current situation to come but I found a comfort with it. Two conversations really in that last sentence but going to keep leaning on the topic at hand.

Competing is fun and more so about 2 years ago I started to do it on another level with the MK 11 tournaments. I started that because I reached a level online that I didn’t think I could. I felt confident and while that is what started me it also was just step one. Step two happened when I signed up for my first tournament and of course I knew I was gonna lose. I was nervous, shaky, and very overwhelmed by what was happening around me. 300 + people watching trying to remember what little I knew and it became a thrill.

In the 2 years I have done it I of course have lost more than I have won. I have learned to get over that feeling and I keep thinking in my head is it age or is it experience. Probably both that made me get past much of it. So it was fun and I will keep doing it but it also makes me think about the places I am going now…

I am shy. I wear a shirt to public pools but I make fun of myself also. I am about to step into another stage of my life that I have ZERO experience with. I know that it’s going to take everything I KNOW and everything I have to get past June this year. It’s going to be the biggest test becoming a father. Nerves are in order which is great. I feel the want to do it BIG TIME and it’s been a very comfortable feeling now as opposed to when I was 19. Almost being 40 I know I have a number of things on my plate and this will add another number of things to sort thru.

It’s going to be hard but I know it’s going to be worth it. It’s going to have the same ups and downs as before. It might be balanced but it might not also. I try to put my mind into that place of understanding and having a question of faith and experience. I want to learn from it all and make mistakes. It will be interesting to say the least.

I know i’m getting better at all of it!

By Alexander Gonzalez

I have been writing observations for the past 10 years. Having lived a life in which I interact with on a daily basis over 100 people. I have some stories to tell.

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