A few years back, a pal and I were sitting on my couch playing Mortal Kombat. It was the ninth one, to be needlessly precise. Good times. Anyways, we were fighting back and forth in the game when we realized that we were pretty even- he’d win one, I’d win one, it was nice, even if we weren’t all that good. The best part was, it gave us a brilliant idea:

We were going to get good at fighting games and then go pro.

We were planning on being legit. I’m talking MLG blow horns and sponsorships from Doritos and Mountain Dew at international tournaments good. We were going to be gaming gods, and all it would take was a little bit of practice.

And practice we did. A couple times a week, we’d hang out and punch eachother’s virtual guys in the face, and eventually we did it in multiple games. What started as being solely a Mortal Kombat thing soon moved to Marvel Vs. Capcom, Street Fighter, and Tekken too. We got better and better, until eventually we knew a bunch of character combos and we could even pull off those crazy finishers where your person rips a dude’s spine out and watches his giblets splat on the floor or whatever.

Not Pictured: Actual Spine rippage

There was just one problem:

We were still really, really bad.

I mean absolutely horrendous. Just a cut above button mashing most of the time. We went online once and got completely destroyed by regular players. We weren’t even average, let alone pro. Just like that, our dreams were shattered like our characters’ bones and our egos were just as bruised.

But it was okay, because we had fun, and in the end, we tell ourselves that’s what matters so that we can sleep at night.