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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let's go me! Oops, I mean, let's go team!

I hate to have two posts in a row related to video games, but this trait applies to more than just games.

There's a game on the Xbox 360 called Halo 3. It is a futuristic space shooter game and is one of the most popular multiplayer games on any system. There's many modes that are in multiplayer and I have achieved the highest rank possible in the mode where it's all for one. I'm great at it as I only need to worry about what I am doing. I have friends that play the game and we will be on the same team and hilarity are frustration are the end results.

In one of the modes it's 2 vs. 2. Teamwork is essential for victory. Many times, well, most of the times in a match if I see my team mate being shot at and I was in the process of going to a tactical spot I won't help them out. I could easily prevent a point being scored by swooping in and saving the day, but why would I? I was in the process of getting to the high ground.

There will be other times where my team mate will be following me and I charge into a room and find that they were no longer following me. I may become furious because he didn't follow me. They may say, "I didn't know you were going into the room!" and this makes me angrier as how wouldn't he know I was doing that?

There's a problem here and as much as I complain (others, like Rob, may say whine) the problem is most likely on my end. It's much like this; I think therefore you should know. If I'm leading a charge into a room, because I am doing this I think that my team will be thinking the same thing. Sadly, this isn't the case and my team play is just funny to watch.

The past 6 months have seen a shift from the shooting of each other in space to the shooting of a puck into the net. EA Sports 2009 hockey entry, NHL10, became my game of choice and again my ability to play as a team was put to the test. I failed miserably over and over again as I can't judge what my human team mates will do. It's no issue with the AI as they are programmed and I learn their program and can predict what they are going to do. Humans though can be random and may do two different things if the same situation comes up twice.

While all this may be a downer in regards to my ability to learn to play as a team, set plays are learned. On Halo and NHL there would be situations where we will have a play we will run out the same way every time. I can do this easily as I don't have to judge what my team will do as it's the same thing every time.

To be clinical, I think this is another example of the "theory of mind" and it's played out every time I play a team based game. To all I warn you as if you are ever on my team, you too may fall victim as you may need just a little bit of help to survive, but I won't care about that as I've got to get to that tactical spot I was on my way to. Good luck fighting two of them, you'll need it!

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