There are moments in every shooter where you inevitably get taken out by the opposition. The most demoralizing moments in games like Call of Duty or Overwatch are when you are the unlucky soul to be killed last. Your frustration is compounded by the fact that you might have to watch your own blunder in a Play of the Game montage.
KillCams are part of the process and being able to accept defeat is an important part of getting better at the games that you love. We can help with that. Here are the five stages of coping with dying that Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross alludes to in her book, On Death and Dying. They go by the acronym DABDA (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance).
Video game death is not as serious as grieving in the real world but, I have seen enough rage videos on YouTube to think that we could all afford to take a chill pill. Everyone doesn’t go through all of these responses to traumatic situations but, these stages can help us understand how people react when we get upset. These steps may help the next time you find yourself on the receiving end of a crazy last shot.
Your team is so close to victory. It has been a closely contested match up until this point and you are creeping up behind an unsuspecting adversary when you are taken by surprise. No big deal. Suddenly you find yourself the goat instead of the hero and you can’t believe it. You find yourself saying things like, “I couldn’t have lost this one for us” or “They couldn’t have gotten me like that.” Crazy stuff happens, the KillCam is proof that it did. Probably not a good idea to dwell on it and better to get a win next match.
After watching that stupid KillCam about four or five times, you start to get frustrated with the outcome of that match. You probably hear yourself saying some version of, “That wasn’t fair” or “They must have an aimbot or something.” The enemy is always going to be easier to blame than being in the wrong place at the wrong time or just blind bad luck. Even with the replay at hand you will never really know how that whole thing went down.
Some players may go and change characters after coming out of that rage. They think that maybe going to their main character or trying another skill set will yield a different outcome. Why would you go away from your strengths because of something that you might not have been able to avoid? It is a bad idea to go buy some loot boxes in these moments to beef up your character too, you’re good enough to get this done.
In extreme cases, players may even question their skill and consider quitting the game. You might find a voice in your head saying things like, “I’m just going to get destroyed next match too” or “I’m never going to be on these other player’s levels.” That’s wrong though. Where do you think all the elite players started? Right where you are. You can do this.
The final stage is a much better place for players. Accepting that there will be losses and times where you are over-matched is a great step toward being able to enjoy your victories. We all play for different reasons and being able to focus on just getting better can be a great way to balance yourself in these sorts of games. Embracing the challenge and being able to have fun in spite of frustration is the best way to experience games.
Do you ever rage over losses? How do you deal with it?