Understanding Your Not-Fun 'Sekiro' Rage Quits

Sekiro is too difficult. Sekiro is not fun. Sekiro is bad. These are the things many players are saying to themselves to justify walking away from the game. Rage quits are an all-too-common part of gaming, both online and off. The harsh combat system in Sekiro, centered around balance and skillful observation rather than twitchy reflexes, seems designed to draw the rage out of you. But Dmitri Williams, Associate Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, tells Newsweek it's not necessarily the game that brings out the rage. It's likely a part of our personalities.

"Some people crave challenge," he said. "For most people, competition is fine. Its healthy, it can lead to good personal development. For other people it can become corrosive, and it takes some self-awareness to know what's happening."

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From Software

Maintaining self-awareness during a competitive game session, like Sekiro, can be easier said than done. Williams explained our brains are poorly wired to understand what economists call "sunk costs." Basically, our instinct is to continue to plow forward with something because we see it as a way to define ourselves, i.e. 'I'm great at video games, so I have to continue until I'm great at Sekiro.' We struggle to accept that we've wasted too much time on something.

"You're protecting your own ego. We don't want to feel stupid, that we made bad choices. It's the same reason stay in bad relationships, or bad jobs, or put up with hazing," Williams explained. "We tell ourselves, 'I'm not the kind of idiot that would sign up for something stupid, therefore I can put up with it.' It's baffling, but that's how it works."

As someone who has been battling against Sekiro for the better part of a week now, the bad relationship analogy really hits home. I can't help myself. I know the game is going to infuriate me. I know I shouldn't start playing it at, say, 11 p.m. because I need to go to sleep and it's going to trigger a rage-induced insomnia for several hours that I quell by snacking while furiously cleaning my kitchen. But stepping away to do that is, according to Williams, a good first step to managing a healthy psyche.

"If its not healthy and if it's not pleasurable for them, they should be much more self-aware of why they're playing and what they're getting out of it," he said. "Know when it's time to step away and to pick things that are healthier."

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Sekiro says relax. From Software

So the next time Sekiro feels too difficult, and you have a not-fun rage quit boiling inside you, think about stepping away. Take a breath. Clean the dishes in your sink. Go pick up some laundry off the floor. Floss. Do something short and productive to break the cycle. Then pick the controller back up and give it another go. You can't let Sekiro win, right?