If you don’t play, you can’t win. But if nobody else plays, is it really a win?
At the end of last year we had a holiday party with an ice-breaker game, you picked up a slip of paper and found people to talk to in order to discover what you had in common with them. The weirder, the better. Once you had done so with the requisite number of people, you turned in the slip, and who ever had the weirdest things would be declared the winner!
So I am a competitive social butterfly, this was something I had to do. My answers were not super weird, but they at least got me bouncing around the party and chatting with different people. So over all, pretty good. A few people commented that they thought I was the only person actually doing this, and I joked back that it meant I won if I was the only entry, right? But several of them mentioned getting their own sheet and starting to play, so I really thought it was a joke.
Nope, mine was the only entry received that night. And for that, I won the Poro King:
He sits, triumphant, on my desk, declaring me the winner of the game only I wanted to play, apparently.
When I was in my teens I was involved in archery, and my favorite competitions were 3-D shoots, where the targets were foam replicas of animals instead of boring paper targets. The awards were divided by gender and for those of us under 18 by age group. Turns out there weren’t a lot of teen girls into putting arrows in fake critters, so no matter how terribly I shot, I always wound up with the first place trophy. At first this was fun, and kind of funny, and let me dig in to my brother, who actually had to compete with other boys around his age most of the time, that I had clearly been the superior shot based on my first place standing.
I’m totally familiar with being the odd one, the weirdo, the person ready to play along even though I may not have the skills. I was never all that good at archery. My ice breaker results were okay, but mostly mundane. In World of Warcraft I used the Arena PvP competitions to gather points just for participating, which eventually earned me the previous competitive season’s special gear, even though I was terrible at PvP. But still that little competitive streak in me still hangs on to that drive for the win, even when nobody else wants it all that much.
Sometimes a win is still a win, even when you’re playing against yourself!