It’s not as bad to me to fail at a shooter because it doesn’t mix with my identity. But it’s worse for me to fail at a very strategic game. But the thing with StarCraft is, I kept coming back to it, but I wasn’t getting any better at it, I thought. And that was very disappointing and painful. Part of me was just like, “I don’t have a knack for this game, that’s just it.”
But the experience itself was so painful that years later, whenever I lost a match on the ’net with someone, I was so upset I couldn’t bear thinking about it. And I actually wasn’t learning the sort of stuff I was supposed to be learning from the game. I was just sort of stuck in this negative loop where I wasn’t necessarily improving. And that’s an important aspect of failure. In a way, it was so important for me not to fail that I put myself in a position where I kept failing.
– Jesper Juul, author of the forthcoming The Art of Failure: On the Pain of Playing Videogames, in an interview @ Kill Screen Daily