Losing gracefully is, I think, a more important skill than being good at a game. If you can lose gracefully, you can have fun in defeat. And no matter how good you are, occasionally you're going to lose.
I lost a game of Settlers of Catan while I was visiting Kage in July. And I was snappy about it. Ok, it was late, and I had a headache, but that's no excuse. You'd think I could manage to lose ONE game with cheerful aplomb, but nooooo, I had to be mean-spirited about it. Sigh. Sometimes I think it's harder to be chipper about losing when you're good at a game. You get used to winning, and then you feel like you must've messed up somehow in order to have lost.
Playing a lot of games against computer AIs hasn't helped me any in that respect. First off, in most computer games, the computer is a bad player and usually loses. Second, if you start to lose, you can often go back to a save, or restart, so that you don't have to keep losing. And last, the computer doesn't care if you pitch a fit when you lose, so there's not much incentive to control your temper.
Lately, though, I've been playing WarCraft3 against human opponents. This is because WarCraft's AI has two modes: "easy" and "almost impossible." And "easy" mode is only available in the campaign, which is a lot like one really long tutorial. Really, really long.
In skirmish mode, the AI is a lot harder to beat than your average person. It took a few days for Trask to convince me of this, but he eventually succeeded, and now I mostly play against people. And I lose a lot. (You can see my track record here if you want.) According to the site, I've lost only a little over half of all the games I've played, which surprises me. It feels like I lose more often.
Anyway, when I first started playing with Lut, it was driving me nuts when I lost. But I'm getting more philosophical about the whole thing . Occasionally, it'll still bug me to lose. But I don't mind much now. As Myrral might say: "Well, that sucked. Moving right along … " :)