Competition makes me feel alive

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It’s uncomfortable to admit it. It feels like i’m giving in to some primal urge to destroy anything that isn’t part of my territory. It feels barbaric. But it makes me feel alive.

Playing video games mildly sates this thirst, but it isn’t enough most of the time. It isn’t enough to conform to the rules. It isn’t always enough to play someone else’s game – you have to find something greater out of it – determine your own goals.

And when that’s not enough, you look to other people. You look to be better than them. You want to beat them. You want to push yourself. You want to win.

Within each and every one of us, there’s hidden blood lust. A desire. A small, obscure, repressed desire, but a desire nonetheless. It comes out in different ways, but the end goal is always the same: win. You’re always haunted by win-or-lose conditions.

You get a raise. Win.

You find a match on Tinder. Win.

You get more points than the other team. You get where I’m going with this.

When you finally sate this “blood lust” of yours – this “desire to win” or whatever – you get a little rush. You can feel your blood pumping blood. You can feel your chest thumping. It’s the same feeling that house music producers try to emulate. Excitement. Adrenaline, coursing through your veins like the river Nile in flood season. Your brain releases some chemical that makes you happy. You feel like you’re on top of the world.

And, eventually, like the polite, functioning member of society that you are, you calm down. It might take a few minutes if you were really going hard. You won’t always be that intense, though. Usually, the rush phases out. Like a spark; a flicker. You’re trying to see just how big the flame gets, but you don’t have anything to truly latch on to. You don’t have any kindling, but you’re rubbing your hands as fast as they can go.

When your heart’s beating louder than your thoughts can pierce through, all you can do is feel your skull exploding. It’s a nice kind of exploding, though. Like a traditional Chinese massage. You can hardly describe what the fuck is happening, but it doesn’t seem to be wholly unpleasant. You let it happen, because you’ve invested too much time and money into this already, and golly, are you going to see this through.

I play for the rush. I play to test out how far my reactions can take me. I play to raise my own bar.

Am I really playing for fun anymore? Am I really getting the point of the game? There’s no objective definition of the word “fun,” but I still feel like something’s off about me. I could attribute it to my special-snowflake tendencies acting up, but I think it’s something a little more than that. It’s like an entirely different game entirely. It’s not fun if I’m winning; it’s only fun if I worked hard to win.

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