[It's time for another Monthly Musing -- the monthly community blog theme that provides readers with a chance to get their articles and discussions printed on the frontpage. -- CTZ]
Many people here are going to write about how they stink at fighting games, and let's make one thing clear: Almost everyone does. Competitive gaming in general is always going to be the ultimate "I suck" category. When I started several years ago I was awful. I had absolutely no natural talent for it. Thanks to some friends I'd started taking interesting in 2D fighters like the King of Fighters series. My fighting game expertise was previously limited to fairly casual bouts of Dead or Alive and Marvel vs Capcom. I very quickly learned that Dead or Alive was a joke among fighting game enthusiasts, and serious Marvel vs Capcom players are inhuman freaks of nature.
Eventually I learned I was being a retard with all that "cheap" stuff and learned to once again just have fun, even if I got my ass handed to me 30 times in a row by that one psycho dude who does literally nothing but smoke pot and play fighters. In turn, I became much better at fighters once I returned to my normal ways.
Games molded my ability to be persistent, which in turn gave me my skills. Sometimes they even pay the bills. It doesn't matter how hard the game is, I just do not fucking give up. I'm sure everyone remembers the simple pleasure of just playing a game in their youth. You'd never get past stage 2 or 3 in that one game, but it didn't stop you. It was just the natural enjoyment that drove you, and you didn't have your ego demanding that you not suffer a loss. I never quite stopped playing like that.
Eventually I wasn't content to just leave games unfinished and unconquered. Winning eventually became part of the formula, but it always took a second seat to just having a good time. In an almost beautiful way, thinking like that would continually develop me as a player. Reflexes, problem solving, hand eye coordination, spatial skills, the ability to cope with pressure, and most importantly patience. All of these talents accumulated and became universal.