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Bias in Gaming – Learning Patience and Understanding through Cooperative Online Games

How much of life is about learning patience over immediate reaction? Patience in seeing that the hard work that you’re doing now will have some payoff in the future instead of taking seeing a way out now and changing tracks. Patience in dealing with others, taking a situation in and seeing things from another’s viewpoint, instead of letting subconscious reaction take over and responding in the same energy that you’re given. Aggression responding to aggression. Hate responding with hate.

And what happens when you aren’t taught these lessons in life? If you’re never taught to practice patience over immediacy, understanding over reaction? Would it be easy to work well with others knowing that every interaction if brought with the wrong energy will cause a troubling scene? Would it be easy to stay productive and motivated knowing that at the earliest sign of a way out you’d take it instead of staying focused on the task that you have and losing sight of why that you’d working on is important?

A life of immediacy and reaction is probably not the one that leads to the kind of life that you want. Although it feels good to take control in the moment, it’s rare that you don’t burn some bridges when acting on reactions.

When is it a failure of the system that you weren’t taught patience over immediacy, when it’s such a key aspect of social development? Schools try to teach this, but it’s hard to force kids with varying personalities and motivations to see a common end goal. What’s worse is that if you grow up in an environment which instigates immediate reaction over understanding, from the peers you interact with to the adults in the neighborhood, it’s more likely that you’d never learn patience as you’re primed completely to act on reaction.

How you learned reaction over patience is the same way you could to undo the process. The people you interact with set up an expectation for a behavior from you, making you accountable for those expectations to build a sense of responsibility. As long you have a system that makes you accountable for being patient and learning understanding, then you have a means of practicing patiences and understanding.

Have you ever been in a long-term guild in a game before, or even just had a group of friends that you’d meet with regularly in-game and play a game together that required a high degree of cooperation?

Learning the maps, the routing and building expertise in a weapon-set in Counter-Strike, Destiny or Call of Duty.

Having regular times to meet and work on new content but theory-crafting a skill tree during the off-time so that you can make the most of those group play-sessions instead of stopping every time you gained a level and looking up where you should dump the new skill points that you just earned in Diablo 3.

Spending time outside of play-sessions to get better gear and learning the mechanics of a raid-fight before meeting with friends once a week to try and choreograph 8-people to beat the same boss that you’ve all been working on for a few weeks with incremental progress in World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV.

The few people willing to take up team-chat and coordinate a group of strangers to play a specific set of roles to have a well balanced team-composition when you never know how your teammates react when things go well or poorly in Overwatch or League of Legends.

Having responsibilities to train and come prepared but building the social skills to deal with the differing personality types and viewpoints that you come across. The kind of responsibility for self-development and accountability for positive social interactions that need to be practiced for patience and understanding.

So what are we exploring in this article? We’ll look into how social adaption can get skewed during developmental years, how responsibility can be instilled by building systems of expectations and accountability and how we can mimics these systems outside of IRL and possibly recreate them online.

More after the break.

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming – Learning Patience and Understanding through Cooperative Online Games”

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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”

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