How to prevent becoming tilted

You've probably been there - you're playing {insert highly competitive game} and you get so absolutely frustrated with something that suddenly, the game is no longer fun and you feel like screaming.  I know I've been there.  League of Legends, Valorant, Super Smash Bros - all of these are competitive games that pit you against your real-life, human opponents, and I have raged at least once while I've played each one.

It's not healthy.  It's not good sportsmanship.  And it definitely, definitely does not help your gameplay; it actively harms it. I've looked back on my gameplay when I practice my VOD reviews and I can see myself making stupid, careless mistakes.  I didn't sweep this brush, or I peeked a corner my teammate got sniped in, or I rushed headfirst into Link's projectiles.  Each of these are things I know I shouldn't do.  But when I get tilted, that common sense goes straight out the window.

Here are my signs to recognize when that happens:

  • I start yelling on comms.  There is absolutely zero point in yelling over comms.  It's forgivable if you get a bit excited because you got a pentakill or an ace, but that's about it.
  • I start slamming my mouse into the table.  That's a really dumb idea, since I love my mouse and it's absolutely perfect (Logitech G502).
  • I start blaming things for my deaths (just not me, of course)

Once I've recognized that I'm tilted, here are some things I do depending on the situation and how tilted I am:

  • Take a deep breath mid-game.  Recognizing that you're tilted is 3/4 of the battle.  Once you see that, some breathing exercises can calm you down enough to finish your match.
  • Fight until I die.  Once I'm dead, I have some time to mentally reset.  I stand up, I stretch a little bit, I drink some cold water, I give my cat some snoot boops.  After this I usually have my head clear enough to play a bit better.
  • Continue to bitch and complain about how my teammates suck

Remember: it's supposed to be fun to play video games.  If you're not having fun, what's the point?  Getting stressed out, raising cortisol levels, ruining friendships, reinforcing negative neural pathways, etc., is not worth it.  We play video games to have fun, to bond with other people, and to git gud.  Getting tilted ruins all of that.


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