Never Done
Ranked - MMR, psychology, and drive
Walking away from what's not working (ft. MinovskyArticle)
Walking away from what's not working (ft. MinovskyArticle)
(And the process of forgiving yourself when you do)

Part of this project was talking to people about competition, and also talking to people about the psychology of competition.

might be someone who’s graced your Twitter profile through his posts about gaming, media or just… things he’s enthusiastic about. His Twitter bio describes him as a singular “Enthusiast”, and I think that’s incredibly apt.

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I like Minovsky’s posts because they have an encouragement to take that kind of thought process away from your enjoyment. We had a long conversation about:

  • What attaches people to fighting games

  • Which environments that best amplify peoples’ enjoyment

  • What pressures people to be unkind or self-critical to themselves

  • Self-compassion towards yourself and other players

The post I made about commodifying my passions was kind of the groundwork for this, and comes up, too. Minovsky’s Twitter account radiates that push towards authenticity with a lot of compassion attached for people struggling. It’s a skillset in its own way, and modern media can push us into unhealthy mindsets.

I’m going to be trying to keep these under an hour in the future, but sometimes the conversation is hot, and it goes where it wants. I liked that about this one. I also realize that I took up a lot of air in this episode, and I need to give my guest more room in the future (🙏🏻 apologies).

Here’s some timestamps for the stuff we cover:


00:00 - Intros
04:30 - "The ugliness that the Internet is capable of"
06:00 - "My brain is poisoned" and expectations from accounts
12:56 - Fighting game players not automatically being volunteered for "career competition"
22:30 - Fighting games as a collaborative experience
31:20 - Receiving well-intentioned feedback, and *desiring* feedback
40:38 - "At the end of the day, a ranked system is about turning your skill into a commodity"
44:25 - Having empathy for the person putting unneccessary pressure on their in-game success. "What's in my suitcase in order to get out of my shitty situation?"
48:10 - Matt's anecdote about DBFZ locals
59:10 - "You are an ambassador for this thing that you love"
1:01:07 - The "insane" ranked spreadsheet, and managing anxiety through process
1:05:00 - External pressures, "You have to give yourself dignity to fail, sometimes, though"
1:07:34 - Struggles giving yourself compassion, and receiving grace from external sources
1:13:00 - Toxic self-awareness and over-responsibility, self-compassion
1:19:00 - When to walk away from something not working for you, "The Omni-Issue", "is there something wrong with me that I'm not into this?"
1:21:43 - It isn't about fighting games — it's that things can be measured
1:23:18 - The analog of fighting game storylines and character motivations
1:25:10 - "What does [game] do for me?", connection to the endless struggle to get better: "I look at that kind of premise, and I feel tired."
1:29:00 - Letting go of things that don't work for you, "creating work" out of hobbies, forgiving yourself for doing so
1:33:00 - Motivations for playing fighting games, and what keeps you "holding on" to the rest if you're not feeling good. "What do [my friends] see as my strengths as a player?"
1:44:33 - Outtros!

Never Done

Ranked - MMR, psychology, and drive

About what drives us to make a number go up. Whether it represents our skill, our progress, or our time: we can own the rank, or the rank can own us. Matt Demers has conversations with people about ambition, competition, and self-esteem.

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Matt Demers