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GameIntrospection

Love and Hate for Gaming @GIntrospection

Bias In Gaming: How Our Preferences for Games Change, Assortative Mating and Coping Mechanisms

Bias In Gaming: How Our Preferences for Games Change, Assortative Mating and Coping MechanismsGrowing up is weird.

I remember sitting down in front of the TV, finishing a king-size bag of Doritos; watching Rugrats, Doug and Rocko’s Modern Life from sunup to sundown; occasionally popping open a Sprite; and having a great time being entertained by each episode that I’d probably seen a dozen or so times.
rocko-eat-lose

Fast-forward to today, I’d still have a good time watching those same shows, given both nostalgia and the amount of depth the early iterations of those shows contained, but I’d probably feel like getting up and doing something else after the first few hours. I also feel sick just thinking about finishing that king-size bag of chips and I now hate the taste of Sprite.

rocko-doggy

Even for games, we immerse ourself with one type of game, exploring all variations of the genre until we get sick of all of the tropes in each or find that they don’t feel fresh, new or exciting anymore. This is when you move onto something else.

I guess the point is, our tastes change. They change because we relate to more things, different things. We experience more, so we empathize. We’ve tried different foods, seen different movies, talked to different people from different backgrounds and understand more and more that everyone has had a different set of experiences than us and some of those experiences can help shape how we explore new ventures.

Continue reading “Bias In Gaming: How Our Preferences for Games Change, Assortative Mating and Coping Mechanisms”

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Bias in Gaming – Coop Fights and the Not-Invented Here

Problem solving can be difficult. You sit there, consuming yourself with a problem, viewing it from as many angles as possible to come up with what you think is a masterful solution, something to be marveled. Sometimes the solution comes quickly and intuitively, but sometimes you sit there for hours trying to make connections from phantom memories that you only partially remember. Even if it were intuitive, it might not be easy to implement. Your solution might mean spending hours doing the a simple task repetitively because your easy to think-up solution requires the most effort, ala the brute force method – minimal thought but maximal energy to complete. With a bit of preplanning, you might’ve been able to think up not so easy solution but requiring far less work to implement.

Whatever solution you come up with, best or not, you try it because it was what you thought was best at the time.

What about if it were you and few others trying to solve the same problem at once? Working collaboratively on a group project for school, or a presentation that goes up in-front of a lot of very important people. If this were Factorio, then you and you group only have a limited amount of space and resources at any given time and many different approaches to making the next great automated machine to generate more Science, collect coal, and protect your area.

factorio

You all probably won’t have the same solution as one-another, but how do you know which solution to use? If this was, say, a math problem then there might be an empirically determined way to distinguish who’s solution works best. Or given the fact that someone’s solution works, then we don’t have to dig deeper to see whose solution works better, as long as they both produce the correct answer. If this were a business design problem, on the other hand, we have a lot of unknowns to worry about. User-retention, market penetration, year-over-year growth, revenue growth, etc… The grayness of whose solution would work best makes it hard to pick which solution to move forward with.

Whose solution do you support the most?

Substitute all that I said about business design and math with gaming and the problem still stands. If you and your friends are trying to come up with a solution to a boss or a dungeon, all solutions sounding equal, whose solution do you try first? Whose plans for what to do with your hard-earned resources and limited space would you focus on? Should we focus on Defenses, Offenses or Infrastructure right now? How do you think you’re group would settle on an idea?

If you’ve ever worked in a group, you know that if someone proposes an idea, they aren’t likely to backdown until they try their solution or until the problem is solved. Whichever comes first. Once you put up a solution, you’ve invested a bit of your ego into the fight and now have a small chip in the fight to prove that your solution works. Your solution may need a few tweaks but the core of your solution works, or so you want to believe.

It’s that overwhelming belief in the ideas that you come up with and its abilities to cloud the consideration of others ideas that we’ll be talking about in this article.

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming – Coop Fights and the Not-Invented Here”

Bias in Gaming: Predetermined Moral Choices, Empathy Gaps, and Victims

Playing a game like inFamous, Bioshock, Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic, or any game that has a morality system built into the game has been a bit strange for me. They build stories where you get to choose how your character’s life should play out, with dozens of opportunities to piss off the wrong people because they have punchable faces or act like skidmarks on your underwear where regardless of how clean you’ve been they still appear, moments that make you want to change sides because your emotions get in the way causing you to ally with a faction with a sympathetic background or because a character that you’ve grown fond of was killed by one’s hands.

But all of those opportunities are useless. Not because I’m so detached to the struggles that the characters in the story exhibit, nor because the storytelling did a crappy job of getting me attached to the characters within the story so actions against them wouldn’t cause some emotional reaction.

It’s because when the game started, I decided that this playthrough my player would be the Paragon, always choosing the morally “right” thing to do.

By picking a side and sticking to it, my actions are predetermined regardless of how bad the situation got to the characters in the game. No matter what kind of emotional response I would have because my favorite ship was getting tortured, chaos the villain was causing, betrayal that my best-friend would cause.

InFamous_Second_Son_Karmic_Moment_-_Hank

The emotional stress that any of this would cause me normally would be completely disintegrated because I knew that my actions were already predetermined. I would be the Predetermined Paragon for this run of the game.

But why does choosing this even matter? Does the canonical story assume that the player would be a Paragon of goodwill, ethics and morality pulling from an infinite pool of patience and persistence until they succeed? Perhaps.

A question as important: why does it cause such emotional stress in the first place?

More after the break.

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming: Predetermined Moral Choices, Empathy Gaps, and Victims”

Let’s Talk About: Superhot

Having the infinite power to survey and analyze while stuck with the limitations of the human body.

If you ever felt like The Flash needed a handicap, this would be the best one to give him. Given the power of high speed thought and processing, without the powers of high speed movement. How useful is being able to see the Matrix if you can’t manipulate yourself fast enough to dodge bullets.

Superhot is an experiment with these limitations.

The game opens up slowly, in the style of bringing intrigue and curiosity to the picture. A friend recommends you a game to try out, so you do. This is when you start learning your mechanics.

 

superhot - mechanics

When you move, time passes. When you don’t move, time stops.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: Superhot”

Whiteboarding It: Episode 1 with Shadi Muklashy and Invisigun Heroes

 

Start

Impressions of Invisigun Heroes

Kickstarter: Invisigun Heroes

Shadi’s Twitter: @shadiradio

My Twitter: @GIntrospection

Impressions: Invisigun Heroes (PAX South 2016-Build)

PAX has always been a place for finding high-grade indie-games worthy of talking about. The games are generally a mix of novel, innovative and fun with some prospect of them being close to completion. This year at PAX South 2016, I was able to wade through the dozens of independent games there and found a new game that has a good mixture of all three.

InvisigunHeroes_lightBG_2x

 

 

Invisigun Heroes is a mix of Bomberman and Hide-and-Seek. Give Bomberman a gun, make it 4-players and make all players invisible and you can immediately understand the game and easily imagine how chaotic things can get.

Start

You’re not invisible all of the time and you aren’t impossible to be spotted at all times. Bump into a tree, people know where you are (kind of).

hit-wall

Walk onto a puddle of water and you leave a ripple behind, people know where you are (more than kind of, deadman).

invisigun_gameplayB

But if you try to capitalize on knowing where someone may be, you have to shoot your weapon thus making yourself visible and easy to spot.

shoot-visible

Continue reading “Impressions: Invisigun Heroes (PAX South 2016-Build)”

Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 Best of and Roundup

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list is a compilation of the best runs throughout the event, spanning races to co-op, blind-runs to glitch exhibition. Hope you enjoyed the list and to watch other picks from great runs, scroll down the bottom to find my other posts from AGDQ and SGDQ events.

Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 Best of and Roundup”

Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – TAS and Hacks

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list, in particular, is for those that find all of the hacks and glitches to whittle down the times through means other than optimized movement. Finding out how to influence the RNG, influence enemy behavior, and that one glitch to give you infinite items.

Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – TAS and Hacks”

Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Technically Impressive

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list, in particular, is for those that have dedicated their time to particularly difficult games, where the barrier to entry of even completing the game is high.  And there’s also a few that are just cool because of interesting techniques involved to compete at such a high level.

Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Technically Impressive”

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