Since I was young, I watched my brother be good at video games. Whether it was kicking ass in Tekken 3 or getting a new high score in Crazy Taxi, he was always so good at games. And I wasn’t. It only semi-recently dawned on me that I, the lead editor of this League of Legends website, am actually very bad at video games.
It came to me when I was playing Thresh for the first time. My friends instructed me carefully about how his Flay worked, when to throw out the hook, etc., but I just ... didn’t get it. I Flayed backwards constantly throughout the game, just because my brain couldn’t comprehend how that skill worked in that short amount of time. I missed hooks due to my bad reflexes. That’s when it all hit me: I am bad at video games.
I recalled quitting Kingdom Hearts 2 as a youth because I couldn’t beat the boss of the Beauty and the Beast level. No matter how many times I faced off against Xaldin, it seemed like I just couldn’t win. Maybe I didn’t grasp the mechanics well enough, or I just didn’t prep enough before the boss fight, but the connection I needed to make during this fight just wasn’t there.
I could go on forever listing various times I had to step away from games that were way too hard for me, but I am going somewhere with this, beyond just dunking on myself. Stay with me.
I can play these games, but it just takes me much longer to master them. I eventually went back and kicked Xaldin’s butt, but it was only after taking a break and playing other games. One day I’ll be able to Flay in the right direction, but not before spending a couple hours in practice tool trying to get it right.
While this can be discouraging at times when I watch my friends pick up new champions instantly, there is nothing more satisfying than finally getting the hang of something I’ve been having trouble with. That reward is what keeps me playing League even though people in my ranked games might be begging for me to quit.
In the end, there’s nothing wrong with having dead-cat-like reflexes and not being the best player on your team. If you’re trying to improve (even if it’s slowly), that’s what really matters.