Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alston, Cumbria
I believe that there are a heck of a lot less "Win at all costs" players about than people seem to think. Look at the actual words again.
So what might those costs be? Friendship? Good sportsmanship? Enjoyment?
What are they sacrificing in order to win the game?
In order for something to be a "cost", or indeed to have worth, it needs to be valued by the player. You cannot sacrifice something in the name of winning if you do not value anything but victory itself - a sacrifice must be valued by the person offering it.
An example of someone who wants to "Win at all costs" is someone who will pursue victory while throwing away everything else he values about the game. Otherwise there is no sacrifice, and therefore no cost.
To use the phrase to describe someone who only cares about winning, and not about any other aspect of playing the game, is nonsensical. For that reason, people have taken to using it as a catch-all for competitive players who indeed have something to lose, because most competitive players do in fact value aspects of the hobby beyond winning - they enjoy chatting to friends, meeting new people and developing their skills in a social environment.
The problem arises when they meet people who have no interest in winning, who prefer a collaborative story instead of a winner/loser scenario. Such people will inevitably be trampled into the ground by a competitive player and because of human psychology, will find a need to assign blame, even if no-one is actually at fault.
Thus we have the rise of "Cheesy" as an adjective, "WAAC" as an insult and "Overpowered" as an offense. Because people who lose games need to displace their defeat (a negative experience) onto someone who isn't themselves in order to protect their ego.
A better solution (instead of the bitching we get from both ends of the player spectrum) would be to better evaluate your opponent before a match. Talk for 10 minutes to someone before playing them, and find out if they want the same things as you out of the game. Ask to see their list, and show them yours. If they have a wildly different philosophy to you then simply don't play them, or, if you do, don't complain when either you or they get massacred.
90% of people think they are above average.
Statistically Improbable. Psychologically Inevitable.