We’ve all heard it before.
“OMG why do you play GUNSHOOTER 5 when you could be playing SHOOTGUN 4? ARE YOU DUMB OR SOMETHING???”
The ever popular argument that many people will make to you: X game is better than Y game, so why do you even play Y game? While obviously there are some situations that this is actually true (I’m looking at you DayZ vs. WarZ), a lot of the time the “game wars” are as pointless as a “console war.” Plus, if you’re looking to be better at video games (I mean who isn’t, right?), it can actually be counterintuitive to your personal skill growth.
Lets start with this example: League of Legends vs. DOTA 2. 70% of each community hates the other game. Why? There’s a lot of hate that is ancient history to some people dating back to the DOTA AllStars days, but again, 95% of the community doesn’t even know that story. At the end of the day, one community just sees one as an “overly complicated, seemingly arbitrary game where everything is overpowered,” and the other community sees the game as “baby’s first version of the game complete with handholding and no off-switch for easy mode.” Again, these points have been debated to death, but regardless of them being true or not, there’s one thing you can get from playing both: experience!
Everyone knows that experience (points) means you level up (your gameplay). Playing a game that is similar in concept but different in the actual gameplay forces you to relearn your FUNdamentals and re-examine your playstyle from game to game. From my personal experience as a MOBA player, I’ve found playing both games beneficial to my level of play in BOTH games, not just one. By re-learning your basic skills in a game, you examine your playstyle more closely and, hopefully, have more personal growth.
Take a look at a lot of professional fighting game players as well; many of them are not “one sport athletes” and play multiple fighting games at tournament levels at the same time. Speedrunners even–take the infamous CosmoWright of Wind Waker fame. Does he play just Wind Waker? Of course not. Think even of your favorite League of Legends streamer if you’re so inclined; how often do you see them playing something like osu!, Tetris or Hearthstone in queues for League of Legends?
By playing multiple games, you might be able to draw one concept from one genre to another. For instance, I always thought of League of Legends/DOTA2 laning phase as a round in a fighting game, combined with a special meter (Mana) and safe/unsafe moves (skillshots vs. gap closers etc). While that thought process probably doesn’t apply to anyone outside of myself, many people will vouch for their osu! skills improving their play in FPS games or MOBA games.
At the end of the day, even if you are trying your hardest to get better a game you love, you always run the risk of burning out on the game. So when you can’t always bring yourself to play the game you want to get better at, try learning another game. Your results may surprise you!