Editorial: No Kill Like Overkill

Good day to you all, Lusipoids. I would like to begin by saying that I enjoy winning. I enjoy it so much that it almost hurts for me to lose. When I win games, I can feel my adrenaline rush, I can feel my heart pounding, and I want more. I want more victory, I want to relish more in my opponents’ defeat, and more than anything I want to make sure my opponents know that they never had a chance.

Yes, thank you, I have said goodbye to my head, and no, I am not a wanker.
This guy is the guy I have to watch out for. He will kill me.

I will first recognize that this sort of victory (or any sort of victory) is not always possible. I have lost at many games, and have had many more close calls. Occasionally my opponents are crafty and steal a victory out from under me. I will believe victory is assured in a strategy game and will move all of my troops toward the enemy base, only to find that my own base is being destroyed before my very eyes. I will have an opponent in my sights in a shooting game, only to have my head disappear as the enemy team’s sniper finds his mark. These losses I admit, and I try to learn from them.

Other times, my opponents made sure I never stood a chance. I would not go for three seconds after spawning in some shooting games before I am shot down. I would not even finish the most mediocre barracks in a strategy game before everything I have is destroyed. It is this sort of loss that I cannot stand and, I admit, it is this sort of loss that often causes me to leave games in a fit of near-rage. The problem I have with this sort of loss is that there is nothing for me to learn from. There is no way that I can know what I did wrong because my opponent was so utterly superior to me. But for all my hatred of losing this way, it is still my favorite way to win.

To be fair, that guy was probably hacking. He deserved it.
Perhaps sometimes leaving in a huff is the better answer.

Perhaps it is mean of me. Some might call it poor sportsmanship (just as they would call ragequitting poor sportsmanship), and some might react in the same way as I: to leave in a huff. Regardless of how the desire for victory marks me, I revel in it. It is not satisfactory to win by any small margin. In a strategy game, I must have somehow outnumbered and outmaneuvered my opponent to the point where I have destroyed all of their units and buildings, even if only a few buildings needed to be destroyed to achieve victory. In a shooting game, I must survive even if my team would have been able to win without me. A positive kill-death ratio in a shooting game is good, but a death count of 0 is far better.

Maybe I could fit more nukes into my base if I sold off all my other buildings!
This is not enough nukes. I could probably fit a few more nukes there.

For instance, I occasionally play an older Command & Conquer game. I will play with an opponent for a while, and if my defenses hold for long enough, I will build a powerful weapon, such as a nuclear missile. I will sit at my desk for a moment, contemplative. Then, I will build a second nuclear missile. “Surely,” I will think to myself, “two nuclear missiles is enough.” A little voice in my head will respond, “No, I am fairly certain that you will be needing at least five nuclear missiles. After all, there is no such thing as too many nukes.” This will go on until my five (or more) nuclear missiles are launched at the enemy’s base, destroying it in its entirety. I could have ended the game far earlier, but that would not have been much fun. I thought of how many explosions I was capable of and knew that I had to press on.

Another example of my love for overkill can be found in the Civilization series. I play games from this series fairly regularly, and I usually do not begin the game with a large number of military units. I play rather peacefully, attempting to build all of the world’s wonders in my own cities before people can. I bolster my civilization’s economy with as many buildings, wonders, and resources as I can and enjoy watching my people prosper. Unfortunately, sometimes an opponent will build a wonder before me. It is an especially annoying quality of the AI that it desires to build wonders before human players can. Realizing that once a wonder is built, it can never be built again, I feel that I must possess the wonder. I decide to build an army and take over enemy cities until I find the ones with wonders in them and add them to my vast empire. Even if I had decided earlier to go for a peaceful diplomatic or cultural victory, seeing another civilization build a wonder that I coveted angers me. I will focus all production into military until I have destroyed them utterly, and if they offer me a peace treaty to avoid their destruction, I will usually refuse them outright, no matter how much they offer.

I only hope that eventually I will be able to apply this sort of thinking to my everyday life. I will think to myself, “Yes, I am working and I am making money, but am I working hard enough? Am I making enough money?” And if I am successful, I will say to myself, “No. I must work harder, for a better company, and for more money!” What about you, readers? Are you all as obsessive as I?