Personally, I love the fact that I can review stats but there are a fair amount of players out there that don't share my enthusiasm. I got into a debate with a good friend of mine this past weekend over whether or not stats have a good effect on gamers. He was of the opinion that they've caused more problems than anything. His reasoning was sound. He felt that players that play for statistical gain are no longer playing for the love of a game but rather for recognition of some sort. Be it with friends, school mates or just in general, getting your name up there on the leaderboards. These people do not play for fun. I disagreed. I find tracking my stats to be informative and that just adds to my experience as a whole. His point, "It makes us too competitive. We cease having fun and we engage in the serious behavior of competition. It becomes more about getting better and improving than it is about enjoying the game." My counter, "Improving is fun to me, how can I improve if I don't know where I'm lacking. He forced me to see an obvious truth and that is... "we all know what we're bad at whether we want to admit it or not." Okay.. point taken but for some of us, it's not as simple as that. Some folks, myself included, have a desire to be good at the things they do. Not necessarily gaming but rather... in everything we do. It's called pride. He laughed at me. Taking pride in video games Strunk?? Really?? Okay...okay... I know it sounds strange coming from somebody, let alone a middle aged man but the truth is, "yes" I do take some pride in my performance online. I'm into it. I fail to see how that's not fun though. I enjoy myself whole heartedly. Then he asked me how I felt when I lost... was that a fun experience? Naturally, my answer was no. He said, "see...." See what?? Nobody likes to lose. Then he asked me if it didn't affect my stats would I feel the same about the loss. My gut instinct was to say, "of course" but I thought about it... and I don't know. I don't really care about my stats in the sense that I'm not out to impress anybody but I do care about them as a tool to mark my own improvement. I don't use them to judge others as so many other players do. That's when he slapped the table, "See, right there....use them to judge others. How do you think that impacts a younger player??" "Do you think that behavior has the same impact on a young person who's not gaming but rather... just going out for a school sport?" How many kids hate gym because they can't run fast or play sports well? You remember those kids in Gym Strunk... the ones that always sat on the bleachers while we played basketball. "Yeah", I said. "That's the mindset being fostered here", he replies.
Now, I have to add that I disagree with him but his logic is sound. I'm not going to type out the entire debate as I can recall it but you get the gist of what we were going on about. He's basically saying that a competitive environment isn't the most friendly and really shouldn't be involved in gaming, stats make players care more about the outcome of a match rather than the people we are playing with. My stance is that it's a natural accurance in games that nobody can control. There has to be a winner and a loser and that stats don't make players aggressive towards others.
Funny thing is, even though I didn't agree with him, he wasn't wrong, he made some very valid points. A players mindset is influenced by EVERY aspect of the game. Stats are included. So what do you think? Do stats affect the way you play? Do you judge others by those little numbers next to their name?
P.S. Sorry about the wall of text, for some reason i can't seem to make a paragraph to save my life.... I hate these new forums. I really do.