Crowdsourcing my GWJ article idea

I am currently working on my entry for the 2013 GWJ Call for Writers but could use some help from the community. My idea was initially inspired by the conference call with Shawn Elliott where he talked about finding time to be a highly competitive Planetside player despite working nearly round the clock on Bioshock Infinite. I then realized I know several highly successful people who somehow still find time to get world first boss kills in WOW or hit 10th prestige in Call of Duty.

I plan to write my article about these kind of gamers, and how I both admire but also feel jealous of their ability to balance it all. I'd therefore love to hear from any Goodjer who:

1 Has a high powered job but who is also highly accomplished as a gamer. Obviously you don't need to be at pro level, but if you're highly skilled and ranked at a particular game I'd love to hear how you find the work/life balance. I'd also be interested to hear how your real life success influences your play style, or vice versa.

2 Is an average working stiff gamer who personally knows someone who is amazing in real life and at games. Do you also feel a mixture of envy and admiration? Also, what have you learned playing alongside them?

Any help would be appreciated.

I would not exactly say that my job is "high powered" or that I am especially highly accomplished as a gamer, but I do reasonably-demanding game development work while maintaining a top 200 (occasionally top 100) spot on the NHL 13 Versus Mode leaderboards. I play cooperatively with my roommate, and he often plays on his own using the same account, so that makes it a little easier to keep up.

Games are like anything else: If you practice enough, you get good at them. Of course, the kind of practice to which I refer entails some critical thinking in addition to simply playing the thing. You don't become a pro saxophone player by noodling around randomly for three hours every day; you need to break the task into manageable pieces by examining scales, embouchure, tone, all that stuff. In NHL we make sure to explicitly discuss the various facets of our strategy and tactics (a few examples: Faceoffs; line changes; team choice; breakaway moves; break-in techniques; defensive structure; the balance between aggression and defensive positioning) and make sure to try new things when we find our current practices fail us.

A game designer named David Sirlin wrote this series of articles called Playing To Win. I find it provides remarkable insight into how people approach games and what 'competitive gamers' do differently from other people. Many of the lessons in there are very directly applicable to real life as well.

4xis.black wrote:

I would not exactly say that my job is "high powered" or that I am especially highly accomplished as a gamer, but I do reasonably-demanding game development work while maintaining a top 200 (occasionally top 100) spot on the NHL 13 Versus Mode leaderboards. I play cooperatively with my roommate, and he often plays on his own using the same account, so that makes it a little easier to keep up.

Games are like anything else: If you practice enough, you get good at them. Of course, the kind of practice to which I refer entails some critical thinking in addition to simply playing the thing. You don't become a pro saxophone player by noodling around randomly for three hours every day; you need to break the task into manageable pieces by examining scales, embouchure, tone, all that stuff. In NHL we make sure to explicitly discuss the various facets of our strategy and tactics (a few examples: Faceoffs; line changes; team choice; breakaway moves; break-in techniques; defensive structure; the balance between aggression and defensive positioning) and make sure to try new things when we find our current practices fail us.

A game designer named David Sirlin wrote this series of articles called Playing To Win. I find it provides remarkable insight into how people approach games and what 'competitive gamers' do differently from other people. Many of the lessons in there are very directly applicable to real life as well.

Cool link thanks 4Xis! And thanks for your insight. I'm still trying to figure out how to end my article, but this gives me a lot of food for thought.l

I have short-listed a very similar topic to write about for my own submission. I am in games just like 4axis.black but unlike him I am not ranked anywhere except in my own head. I look forward to reading your finished piece if you ever link it here.

Well submitted my Alpha Gamer article last night. If I don't get selected I will still post it somewhere on the site. I decided to make it more personal and talk about famous alpha gamers in passing. Thanks for the help guys and looking forward to reading your piece if you submitted Maclintok.