How Do You Win?
It is true for all video games and all video gamers that there is a fine line between "winning" and "losing" but the definition of a win may differ from gamer to gamer.
For some people "winning" may refer to beating a 40+ Hour RPG and finishing it 100% (beating all the side quests, doing every single little thing possible) While for others it could merely mean beating Call of Duty on recruit difficulty. While even more recently the feeling of winning could come from getting 1000/1000 gamerscore, or gathering all of the trophy's on the PS3.
While to others all that winning means is getting the most kills in a ranked Lone Wolves match in Halo 3 or scoring a 25 kill streak in MW:2 to call in a game ending nuke. And to others it could just simply mean breaking a 1:1 Kill to death ratio in an online match of any type regardless of whether you're being ranked or not.
Is being ridiculously good the only way to "win" a match of CoD?
While for more nefarious players all that matters in making a game fun is being a griefer, or a troll thus making the game absolutely miserable for everyone else involved in order to derive joy from others' pain. While a griefer may not technically "win" the online game they're playing they are able to get the same feeling as the guy who got a nuke, and thus win.
[embed:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUPzN7tp7bQ&feature=player_embedded ]A prime example of griefing.
The aspect of griefing applies to single player experiences as well, but instead of harassing real breathing players, they basically become a god and don't have to play by the rules. People can do this by using the oldest method of cheating, AKA actual cheats. Or players can load up on mods and all sorts of wonderful hacks to make their gaming experience worthwhile.
In the end all that really matters to any gamer is getting the feeling of winning. Whether the means be traditional or require more creative techniques to pull off a fun and rewarding experience. The term "win" is quite vague indeed, and every gamer employs his/her own method to get the ultimate experience from any game whether they have fun teamkilling, finishing a game 100%, grinding tediously for XP, or straight up training, everyone wins their own way.
But what's your definition of winning? Share your insights in the comments below!