Chronicles of playing against a friend who's better than you
The only thing that's better than gaming alone is having friends. Even better than that is being able to game with said friends. Of course, when you frequently play against skilled opponents you start to show some less than pleasant traits. Below are some of the more embarrassing ones.
CHOOSING YOUR ARENA
When getting ready to battle, most people choose a game they're good at to improve their chances of success. You start to deviate from that game plan, however, once you know you're up against a better player. This provides an easy excuse for when you lose, because clearly you were out of your comfort zone. Don't overuse this tactic, though. Eventually people might start to notice the pattern, or you could end up saying something really embarrassing because you've gotten used to that one excuse.
"How'd you lose 28-2, dude?"
"Oh I don't play FPS games too often. They're not my strong suit."
"We're playing FIFA…"
MAKING YOUR OWN LUCK
This is something we've all done, and we don't feel even slightly guilty for doing so. Local multiplayer amplifies the stakes, and so it's only fair that you tweak the setting in your favour, if only a little bit. At first you start out small, like taking the seat with the armrests. If you're a bit more competitive, then you hand them the bad controller. The better the player, the worse the condition of the controller. At first they get the really old one with the flimsy keys, then the ones where random buttons are non-functional. I once tried to get away with giving a friend a controller without a right stick, in an FPS deathmatch.
Yes, I'm a bad friend. No, I still didn't win.
LAUGHING ON THE OUTSIDE, CRYING ON THE INSIDE
When all of your petty tricks have failed¸ you must finally come to terms with reality. Your friend really is so much better than you, and this is on show in a variety of ways. If you're playing a fighting game, you will have to suffer through multiple flawless victories for your companion. No amount of button-mashing can prevent that, sadly. If it's a shooter, kill-cams will reveal some very classy 720 no-scopes while multiple flashbangs go off in the background. In sports games you'll get to experience all the celebrations a particular game has to offer. All of this will come at the expense of your self-esteem. The only thing you can do in these scenarios is to put on a brave face and weather the storm. It gets better, I promise.
IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT, FAKE IT
Despite being ridiculed in front of all of your friends, your ego still won't give up. Thus you go down the path of the sore loser, and begin to make even more excuses for the horrible performance you put up. Blame the game for glitching out, blame the lag. If someone points out that local multiplayer games don't have lag, tell them you meant input lag. Then, of course, you'll have no choice but to blame the controllers. Blame chains can get long and convoluted, so just make sure you don't accidentally shift the blame onto yourself.
Someday we'll become mature enough to accept that some people are just better at certain games. However, today is not that day.