You, you’re battling the game.
Your opponent is the system and the numbers that define it.
You must take advantage of every conceivable bonus and find ways of mitigating any penalties or the system will get a leg-up on you. To you, the system is the opponent to be beaten and the story is just the means of interacting with it.
Me, I’m battling the story-line and scenario.
I’m not playing the numbers like you.
Often when I play, those numbers aren’t chosen in the most efficacious manner, rather they’re chosen because of the evolving nature of my character because I must choose the advantages and disadvantages based on the history my character has within the game world. To me the story is to be interacted with and the system is the means of interacting with it.
But you know what’s cool?
We sit at the same table and play in the same game at the same time.
Oh sure, I smirk when I see you pouring over the newest splat-books, seeking some advantage you can bring to bear.
But in like manner, I expect you inwardly chuckle and shake your head sadly when I knowingly and deliberately take a penalty or a poor choice (optimal build-wise) because “it makes sense.”
Sure, we’re not playing the same game the same way, but we’re still playing the same game.