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Mind pattern analysis through video games

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posted on Feb, 9 2015 @ 04:16 AM
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a reply to: onequestion

There's a lot I could say on this topic, I've literally written a book on MMOs, been the top player in the game in two of them, was a successful raid leader of large scale raids (talking 50-100 people) and have in the past done development work on MMO's.

Most of what you describe comes down to a lack in communication. When it comes to strategy each person has a plan, it may be their plan, it may be a plan they found on the internet, or it may be a plan the group came up with. The main principle though is that each person interprets that plan different, and many are incapable of altering it on the fly. Psychologically this plays into the idea of group think. The hive mind comes up with a consensus plan and people will rigidly stick to it despite all evidence that it's not working.

You can see this in action in games where a raid is coming apart at the seams, or in smaller scales with pick up groups where there is no cohesion because each person has a different plan. You can even see this in real life with failed businesses or most notably politics and the military. America's middle east foreign policy being an obvious example.

In these games having strong individual ability can increase the success of the group, but a group of individuals, even if they're all ridiculously good will fall to a coordinated group if their communication isn't up to par.

As far as analyzing profiles, you absolutely can. When doing guild interviews or trying to put together super groups to tackle tough non raid content I could read people fairly easily and a 5 minute conversation would let me size them up pretty well. There's actually a pretty good psychoanalysis of me out there that someone did as part of their thesis, based entirely on others descriptions of my ingame behavior. I would link it but I would prefer to stay atleast somewhat anonymous. Needless to say, it described me better than I knew myself.

These days I've retired from playing the MMO's and do 1 on 1 games like Magic, however it's still very similar. In an MMO you have a group of 3-6 people trying to improvise making a plan work with little ability to communicate in depth as conditions change, thus communication is reduced to foreknowledge and announcements of triggers, it's basicaly choreographing. In Magic the communication is between yourself and your opponent, usually neither will talk during the game about anything other than confirming the game state, but there is a lot of non verbal communication in a round. Reading a person, deriving the hidden contents of their hand, building a decklist to figure out their outs, solving the board state, and so on. Watching the interaction is quite interesting, it's also amazing how many people fail to simply pick up on the information their opponent is giving off. Linking that back to MOBAs, if one person panics and goes to another lane they risk the groups success, but your opponents will also pick up on that. They will see you aren't acting cohesively and that one person just created a weak spot. If your opponents are watching this they will strike and you will lose.

As far as military applications go, there's plenty. The military is the ones that developed these tactics afterall. This is why hitting the enemy lines of communication is almost always priority #1. When people stop talking to each other they panic, make poor decisions, and in general cease to behave rationally. Similarly this is the greatest strength of the US army. We give more authority to lower ranking officers than any other military in the world. This means they don't feel constrained in ability or overwhelmed when conditions cease to be favorable.

So the take away from that? Stay calm, stay rational, and continue to take in and use relevant information, but most of all communication. That's for life or a game.




posted on Feb, 9 2015 @ 05:01 AM
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a reply to: onequestion

Thing is, in LoL people often forget time is money. If you're already at their base, and 1 on the other team is at your tower....By and large the answer is not to go back. 5 can move faster than 1. And as far as efficiency, great, you went b, but now you have to run all the way back up the lane to get to the tower, and during that time nothing is being done so it's ultimately wasted. Riot changed it recently where games are essentially sped up, D isn't as valuable as it once was, more of a race now. And people forget or don't know, but tower kills are far more important than player kills.

Even had a late night game, and they do have a tendency to get kinda weird, the entire team was basically suicide bombers, champs that could do that like sion. He'd ult down and their whole team would just attack the tower. They had so many deaths but it didn't matter since they were getting towers and we couldn't even really go O if we wanted to. We almost lost with what a lot of people would think would be a complete joke, really proving the point its about getting towers down.

But I'd say knowledge of the game and strategy. Enemy team went all mid and we ended up losing. Blitz, thresh, nautilus on bot once, no jungler, and our team/jungler wanted us to go at it 2 vs 3...dunno how that's knowledgeable or good strategy.
edit on 9-2-2015 by ghaleon12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

I love this topic. I grew up on video games and I could sometimes tell how someone was going to react in a game based on just knowing them. And sometimes, I would not be able to tell at all. I think games can bring out certain aspects of a personality that would otherwise be hidden.

I haven't played LoL, but I have played Dota 2. Those kinds of games seem to be heavily based on team cooperation. I think some make a choice based on what would seem most effective at that moment. What makes them conclude what would be most effective at that moment? One could argue their knowledge of that game. If they don't understand the game completely, then they would have to go based on gut.

I think social psych plays a huge role in team games. Some would be more cautious in team games than single player because others are at stake, and in order to win everyone has to be playing their role. I think some would not be as cautious. It really depends on how serious they take the game.

This topic really interests me and I have thought about similar things. I've played survival games that can be really mentally taxing at times. You can see someone who is nice, offer things, then bam kill you because they suspect you have more stuff than they do.

I think it depends on a variety of things if one can delve deep into the psyche based on video games. I think it's possible, but really difficult because of all the variables.
edit on 10-2-2015 by shieldmaiden because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Staying calm is a big one.

You can almost always see when a person starts to panic by how their play goes.



posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 09:27 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: Aazadan

Staying calm is a big one.

You can almost always see when a person starts to panic by how their play goes.



In MMO's I could watch a raid (something I did often when I was on the development team of one) and pinpoint the instant people began to panic. When I would design encounters, one of the best proven ways to add difficulty would be to throw a bit of chaos into the mix. Randomly killing a tank is entirely predictable but what happens when the encounter has a 15% chance to death touch the tank, a 25% chance to run the healer out of mana, and a 60% chance to reflect all damage back to the source for 15 seconds? All of a sudden no one knows quite what to expect.

I found that one random event like this during a group event would result in groups playing the event over and over to get the most likely event (60% here) which they could prepare for. However, if you layered them and did 3 events like this during the encounter, the most likely outcome is suddenly only 21.6% likely to happen. This would result in a near 80% failure rate for a pickup group. In raid events this concept would even prevent most guilds from finishing an event provided the random abilities were strong enough.

This applies to more than MMO's but it's where I have the most experience. Being calm and detached in all situations is the best way to be good at a game which is a big part of why I enjoy turn based these days when I have the time.



posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

For scenarios like that, we would have tried to find ways to game through the outcomes no matter what. But then, I only ever played City of Heroes as my MMO. It was entirely possible to pick up and soldier on without a tank and without a healer, but everyone has to know how to handle those possibilities. What powers does the team have and can every player play them to best effect to fit the situation?

If they can't, then you're screwed. If even one person knows, and the rest won't trust you to know, you're screwed.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 03:02 AM
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a reply to: AnuTyr



I've done the crazy freak out before myself. It is painful... at first. jk jk

I am sure if you hooked somebody up to an EEG or something more cutting-edge to analyze which regions of the brain are most enhanced in certain situations, and how this varies between individuals, I am sure you could gain a decent understanding of mental strategy etc. People often denigrate video game playing, but depending on the game and how much self-control the person has in not playing it TOO much, it can actually enhance hand/eye co-ordination and visual acuity, recognizing complex patterns and so on.

The teen getting his WoW taken away is very telling of their loyalty to this alternate/virtual reality. There was a boy here in BC named Brandon Crisp several years ago, had his WoW taken away and he ran off into the woods, climbed a tree, fell asleep and fell out and broke his back and died. On the face of it that sounds very sad and pathetic that somebody could be so addicted, but again think of the loyalty and dedication. If this physical consensus reality is going down the #ter, might those with exceptional skill in navigating webspace be assets to a future internet world akin to synthetic telepathy or Borg assimilations?

One just wonders if such people are analyzed for the potential of being transplanted and retrofitted to become warriors of the final frontier...




posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: corsair00

I was going to mention Ender's Game as well! That is also what I thought of when I saw the OP's first post. This topic is an ongoing theme in the book.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: shieldmaiden

It's a great movie, I really enjoyed it. I am suspecting that if it did well enough at the box office, they are working on a sequel. Hard to say.

I have never personally become a gamer yet, largely because I am not exactly a 'shoot-em-up' type. But that's hardly to say that there aren't other games out there that cannot be great mental exercise and also strategic as well as fun. It is a given that I am excellent at racing/driving games, but I am curious to try out more. I am out of date with it, but did get an Xbox recently and notice there are many games to choose from there. For a more abstract 'right-hemisphere' type who wants to do some mental training, what kind of games would you recommend for me?

Also, which book are you referring to? Thanks!



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: corsair00

I personally really like games that are like puzzles but have story lines behind them. The games that I have played that I enjoy are any of the Legend of Zelda games, Tomb Raider, the Metal Gear Solid series, and Shadow of Mordor. These games I believe offer left brain logical activity of solving puzzles but in a right brain setting. In the Legend of Zelda, in general, your task is to save Hyrule/the Princess, but there are a series of puzzles you have to do in order to get there. You must go through dungeons using your items and logic. The story line and scenery and feeling of the game provides that creative right brain satisfaction/aesthetic, and the solving puzzles gives your left brain action too. I am also a right hemisphere type. I think these games balance that out a bit while providing something for my right brained self.

Shadow of Mordor is also a wonderful game, though I have not beaten it yet. But I do think it falls along the same lines as the games that I have mentioned.

Other games that I have not played but have seen are Assassin's Creed and Uncharted. I think these games offer the same type of logic exercise.

As for the book, it is Ender's Game, the first one of the series. It is one of my favorite books. I haven't read beyond that (I think there are 7 in total) but it really shows how games train your brain in many ways, and also shows insight in to personality based on how one reacts to certain situations in a game. What he goes through in his life is displayed in his strategy. The book is really good and had a lot of depth.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 05:01 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
For scenarios like that, we would have tried to find ways to game through the outcomes no matter what. But then, I only ever played City of Heroes as my MMO. It was entirely possible to pick up and soldier on without a tank and without a healer, but everyone has to know how to handle those possibilities. What powers does the team have and can every player play them to best effect to fit the situation?


Never played CoH. What I found was that players could usually adapt to any curve ball you threw at them, but they had to know it was coming. People in MMO's or MOBA's do very bad with random events that may or may not occur which require individual attention. It comes from trying to act within a group, people attempt to conform and group think takes over where people become passive. When you create situations that require a member of a group to suddenly become assertive outside of a predefined plan during a moment of action chaos gets introduced.

This same concept has been seen in the worlds militaries time and time again. One reason the US military does so well is that we recognized this concept and gave broad authority to low ranking officers so that a Lieutenant in the US can make calls based on battlefield conditions that would require a much higher rank in another military. This is why we are so successful, and tying that back to games you'll find that guilds/groups which allow people to be more assertive as the need arises tend to be more successful.


originally posted by: corsair00
I have never personally become a gamer yet, largely because I am not exactly a 'shoot-em-up' type. But that's hardly to say that there aren't other games out there that cannot be great mental exercise and also strategic as well as fun. It is a given that I am excellent at racing/driving games, but I am curious to try out more. I am out of date with it, but did get an Xbox recently and notice there are many games to choose from there. For a more abstract 'right-hemisphere' type who wants to do some mental training, what kind of games would you recommend for me?

Also, which book are you referring to? Thanks!


Look into turn based games, that's what I primarily play these days though I don't have the time to play much. There's a lot of genre's you have the classics like Chess, but then you also have card games like Magic and Hearthstone. In RPG's you have games like Avernum or anything else from Spiderweb Software (disclaimer: I own the companies entire catalog on Steam, they are amazing games) which are tactical turn based, and in pure strategy there's games like Civilization, if you like those I would suggest Civ 4 over Civ 5 or Beyond Earth... it's older so the graphics/community are worse but it's the far superior game.

Note that everything I just mentioned is PC not Xbox. Consoles in my opinion focus a bit too heavily on action games, it's really only on PC where you get games that give you time to think.




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