I am my fathers fault. Especially when it comes to my competitive streak.
This started when I was young. He would buy a computer game for me as a christmas or birthday present about a month before the event. Then he would ‘test it wasn’t broken’ every evening after he had sent me to bed. On the day of receiving the gift, he would play against me once on said game. Predictably, he would win – due to all his practice. Then he would promptly retire champion, and never play against me on that game again.
The one exception to this that I remember is Micro Machines 2, on the Sega Mega Drive. My father and I were incredibly competitive on the time trial sections. Shaving 0.01 of a second of the others time was cause for a rather loud victory dance in the living room. Between us, we must have evenly split the time trial records for every track. Our spare time was spent attempting to disrupt that balance by pinching the others record. I never beat his toilet seat record – but he couldn’t beat my bathtub record. My poor older sister just couldn’t compete. In the end, wanting some records for herself, she wiped the records. This could have been an opportunity for my father and I to restart our records, but it just didn’t feel the same. Plus, Micro Machines ’96 was just around the corner, so we had a whole new game to compete at. The latter game just didn’t feel as awesome as the former though, and I don’t think we ever reached that level of competitiveness in a computer game again – partly, I suspect, due to the changing nature of games then. We moved more into single player territory, and the multi-player games were designed very differently.
I think it is these two experiences that make me a somewhat sore loser and rather graceless winner. Being beaten by my dad at a game meant having my face rubbed in his victory until I could surpass it. Winning was the opportunity for revenge. I should probably thank him for helping me to develop that ‘win at all costs’ mentality. But he’d just be all smug about it, and that would be unbearable. I should also admit that I’d probably be the same without my dads intervention, as the feeling of winning is just too awesome.
I’ll stick to just trying to hunt him down on Destiny, if either of us ever pick that game up again.