I can empathize with that unnecessary pressure you put on yourself to succeed.
Aside from occasional SNES sessions with a cousin, I avoided every opportunity to play games for years. All out of fear of doing it “wrong”, and not having the privacy to try and fail without outside judgement. That mentality still crops up as an adult, but when it comes to those challenges in games, I now seem to feed on it.
I feel like my ego has a hard time accepting a loss, or what I deem poor performance (even when “winning”), so I just keep throwing myself at games headfirst until I get to the other side of them.
In theory I go to games to decompress and chill, but they bring me the most visible frustration of anything I do throughout the day - and maybe that’s why I keep coming back. It’s cathartic to blow up, or cave in over things that will never really matter, while I’m passively brushing real life stressors off at work and home like they don’t bother me - the mask has to shatter somewhere.
So, I give most of my time to games that dangle their carrots from the longest sticks of defeat and dissapointment; Dark Souls and its clones, PUBG, and other competitive shooters. Even chiller games like Skyrim get modded into instakill ragequit sessions.
To stay on topic, I would say anonymity makes it too easy for me to stumble into conversations that wouldn’t happen around me if people knew more about me. I’m past the days of my youth, having heated arguing with every turdlord and troll king, but I still assume the worst until they prove me wrong.
With Destiny 2, I found myself playing with a lot more new players outside my network, but when they’re coming into an environment of me and my fellows there tends to be greater self-censorship and respect.
Finally, I’ll say that my social fumbling is nothing in a game world when compared to the real one. Wherever I can speak to things I know well and understand the rules, the tension fades. That means that even a table top or MtG session in a public place is hard for me if I don’t think everyone around is “in on it”, but it’s getting better.
Sorry if wandered down my own lane with this. Thanks for the post.