Losing: Important XP
If you’ve been watching the RCM’s Twitch channel this February, you know that XCOM 2 was much played and talked about. It is a great sequel to the reboot of the series. What was there not to love about it? Of course when the premise and basic background story back in June of 2015 was revealed, everyone immediately loved the idea that Firaxis Games was taking. In the hardest difficulties of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, there was a good chance that players would lose unless they were on their A-game. Firaxis took this idea and ran, so humanity lost and 20 years later you are now the resistance fighting an entrenched alien enemy.

Just like Red Dawn... just with aliens

Everyone likes an underdog story, where the good guys win because of their determination and knowing that their cause is the just cause. Of course, no one really gives much thought about why such a group is in such circumstances: the reason they are there is because in some form or fashion they “lost.†For most of the world and especially in America, losing is unacceptable, defeats must never be admitted to, and if there is a defeat, it must be avenged somehow.

But take the Battle of Thermopylae for example, seen as a defining battle for the Western world. Even though the Greeks lost to the Persians, it is seen as moral victory to the West. But why? It cannot be because it was any kind strategic victory for the Greeks due to the fact the Persians would still be in Greece and be in control of most of the Greek’s territories. So why? It is simple really. Lessons learned. And the lessons the Greeks learned was that they could hold their own against an overwhelmingly numbered Persian army with both properly trained and equipped men and with a terrain advantage. It is also due to the mindset that you keep fighting despite certain death, because other lives may depend on it - sacrificing self for the good of the group.

So what can we take from this? Learn from your defeats and mistakes. Grow from them. When you are playing XCOM 2 and you start running out of soldiers to deploy, remember next time to always to keep recruiting new soldiers. Or never engage more than one group of enemies as much as possible due to the fact that they will outgun you and cause your soldiers to take heavy casualties.

Of course that’s easier said than done sometimes. A lot of things can get in the way of you learning from a loss or a mistake. Your ego could cause you not to accept that you made a mistake or that your actions are what caused you to lose. We have all seen this type of person or been this person at times. Nothing is ever their fault, and any mistake can be easily expanded away to something else that is not them. The important thing to remember is that you can lose and/or make mistakes.

Another issue is your emotions. Even though you can know you lost and/or you made a mistake, your emotions can ruin your chance to learn from it. Admittedly I still have trouble with this one, especially with team based games. Everyone who has seen when I join Varyar’s streams on Twitch has heard the Killer Sigh. The reason why would be that if I make a mistake or get killed in an intense gameplay moment, I feel that my screw up may have led to the team’s defeat. Now this is not in the sense that I think that I am carrying the team, but because I want to be a contributor to the team and not a ten ton weight that the team has to drag around. Thus my emotions will sometimes blind me to seeing the mistake and learning from the loss simply due to the fact I am emotionally involved and cannot look at the circumstance in a detached manner needed to learn.

So in the end, it is fine to make mistakes and lose as long as you learn. Play to win, but learn from your losses. If you do not learn though, you will simply stagnate, and that should never be acceptable.

Hmmm. I wonder if this could be used in my day-to-day life?

Probably not.
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