Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 2 Aug 2010.
Nice psychology lesson!
I find it weird that sometimes while playing games I'll drift off into thought not paying any attention to the game then a few mins later realise I'm still playing and haven't crashed my car in racing games or died in FPS etc!
So that granny was beaten with a fluked hand - does that mean that no matter how hard we try we will get done by a scabby bar steward?
I get in the zone in MW2 sometimes. I now know the maps so well I don't need to think where people will be coming from or where to go, it's all automatic. Sure, sometimes I think "I'll attack like this", but usually it's automatic like getting through a memorised maze. I also find I've got my gun up, shot and killed someone before I've consciously realised they are there. When the missus starts moaning at me for playing too long though, I have to actively think about concentrating on the game and I don't play nearly so well. *sigh*
I've had years of football, badminton, swimming and gaming training too, there's nothing like reflexes brought over from other disciplines to enhance your KD
I've done that before, on racing games mostly, I find myself thinking about other things, and subconsciously driving flat out around tracks. Its a great feeling.
Used to have this playing surf maps on CS:S a while back. Stopped playing for a while though and I've never managed to get back into it..
It is such a great feeling when you're playing a game and everything just feels like an extension of your mind - it no longer becomes 'press this key' or 'move the mouse this way', you just think of what you want your in-game self to do and do it. Great article
The trick is not thinking too much and just reacting. Reaction times are so much faster than thinking. When you know the game inside out and simply react..the game just flows. I find beat em ups and racing games are best for that. I have had some simply amazing bouts in the Soul Caliber games. Words can't describe it when you and a mate are just in the zone. It is so ridicules with the blocks, parrys and general move timings.
"but consider reading FAQs straightaway"
ur a noob. Die 1 billion times before cheating... and then you shall pwn by yourself.... Do I smell the bit-tech user gaming competion!???? Bring it son!
FAQs don't have to mean step by step guides, just advice on not sucking so much. I've helped plenty of mates by directing them to Gamereplays.org and having them read up on a few good strategies.
Glad you all liked the article
@nature: During editing a nuance of that tip got removed. My original sentiment was that by going straight for the FAQs you wouldn't later have to correct any mistakes you'd picked up, but that it would also probably ruin any enjoyment you might have got from the game.
@hypnosam: I remember playing Metropolis Street Racer and finding myself bopping and singing along to the music while completely wasting the challenge score I'd set for myself after practice.
@fizzban: Precisely A friend and I spent a summer playing Soulcaliber on my Dreamcast and our hot-house developed our abilities far and beyond anyone else who tried to play against us. However, competitive playing high score hunting are fundamentally different. If bit-tech are nice to me, maybe I'll be able to share some of the psychology behind that too.
Amen to this. I've been playing Bejeweled Blitz lately - the 1 minute version of Bejeweled on Facebook - and I recognise that the games where I have to think about moves are the lowest scoring ones, whereas when it's all reaction, all subconcious, that's the high scores.
Call it reaction time, muscle-memory or whatever, if you can react without thinking then you'll beat someone else that has to look at the buttons, blocks or whatever.
Great article, invite this man back!
This article sounds a lot like what Csíkszentmihályi proposed with his idea of flow, where once your skill level is sufficiently high and the challenge is high enough to match your skill level the mind goes into a state of flow. A guy did his thesis on this subject and made a couple games for it here: http://www.jenovachen.com/flowingames/introduction.htm
I think its important to note that not only should users be aware of flow but that game designers have to consciously work towards making a game that lets users enter a state of flow.
I've just been reminded of a very apt line from a film:
Charlie: "What were you thinking when you did this?"
Maverick: "You don't have time to think up there. If you think, you're dead."
I always wanted to improve my concentration. I can be a very good UT player and be almost untouchable but it comes in phases. It happens only once in a while and no, it's definitely not luck since when I do play up to my potential, I can call shots/moves before I make them.
I have no idea how to turn this on and off however. I've been trying to figure out how for over a decade and still have no idea.
Oh and it applies to literally everything I do btw, including something as simple as reading a text. However UT is just the best example because the difference is drastic. People I was "close to" in the UT community weren't sure if I was cheating or not because they didn't understand how I could go from godly to really, really, really bad.
Let me you this...
Im play FEAR multiplayer 7 days a week, and I can asure you, Im better at it when talking on the phone. So the subconcience its aware of the game, but then concience its in the phone
excellent article, made very interesting reading.
The concept of thought and actions without thinking is a concept which many martial arts try to teach for a very good reason. If you can do the action without consciously thinking about it then it leaves your conscious mind open to look for strategies, openings and danger.
I have been in the same zone when target shooting, lining the cross-hairs up on the target and pulling the trigger is a subconscious act. That leaves the thinking side to concentrate on watching the wind move the grass and listening to the rhythm of my breathing. With a little practice, the sound of those around you fades out and leaves just you and the target.
I also have random bouts of insane matches on COD4. It is indeed the subconcious.
I get in the zone on TF2 sometimes. It mostly happens with Scout, as my most played class. I can be on a really mediocre run, and suddenly I'll get a kill streak and become untouchable. I love those moments. I need to play TF2 more.
DiRT 2 has those moments as well. Crank up the volume, blast out the death metal and cruise to a perfect finish.
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