Does your gaming style reflect your mindset? For generations games have been a past time to relax and socialise and lately there has been more and more research into how games can be used to develop soft skills. But how does this look like from the other side? Do your soft skills and mindset determine how you play a game?
Since I was young I have been an avid gamer. From playing games on the PC (The old days of MS DOS and WordPerfect, that’s early 80’s for the younger readers out there), then on to the various Nintendo & Sony systems. With my current system of choice being the PlayStation 4. My main game types are action games, fighting games and role playing games, I will be using each of these as an example of how my play style reflects my personality.
Does gaming reflect your mindset? Tell me?
Let’s start with action games. I tend to start action games on the highest possible difficulty available. You probably already guessed it, I enjoy a challenge. Looking back this has also been the way I traverse life. In high school my choice subjects were those that many consider a challenge (for example maths & physics), my love interests were those others would consider ‘hard to handle’, and my career path & life choices the same.
My favourite action game series is Devil May Cry. Devil May Cry is one of those games that the better you are as a player the more spectacular the game looks. The game has a combo ranking system based around player skill with D being the lowest and SSS the highest possible (see this video as an example).
Do you need to be able to pull off SSS rank to finish a level? You sure don’t, you just have to survive the level and beat a level boss where applicable. Am I one of those guys who can pull off purely SSS rankings, definitely not. But I do to try my best to be able to. There is a direct link to this and the results I aim for when doing the things I do. Take video content as an example I don’t aim for movie quality (SSS rank) but I do aim for above the social media average. I ensure that my skill level is at a degree that I deliver what is asked, it adds value to others and is at such a quality that it also delivers something extra.
Now on to fighting games, with the Street Fighter series being my favourite. Fighting games are mostly 1 versus 1. When playing against a similarly skilled opponent it becomes a battle of wits, knowledge and reading your opponent. In a way this much like a coaching session.
A coaching session?? Yes, let’s disregard the competitive element for a moment. Fighting games are all about spacing, spacing determines what will be appropriate and effective in that moment. If you observe a coaching session, you will notice that a coach takes different seating positions during the conversation. The coach sits at different angles, he leans forward or leans back which all have an effect on how the conversation goes, the feeling which needs to be conveyed and the questions that will be asked.
To take it to an even deeper level. Each character in a fighting game have their unique qualities. Where one character might be offensively strong, the other might be very defensive and then there are also characters which fall in the middle. I tend to play offensive type characters that require critical thinking, analysis and use short/medium combos to deal damage. Which is similar to the way I converse and coach. I am known for asking the right questions, at the right moment in order to trigger new insights and I tend to keep it short and sweet. Just as I have a preferred way of communicating, so do others. You might be more defensive or more offensive, you might like to keep it short or tend to be more lengthy in your explanation.
Last but not least are the RPG’s (Role playing Games) of which games in the Final Fantasy series tend to be my favourite. Most Japanese RPG’s work with a levelling system in which you unlock various skills and increase your stats. You choose the pace and determine the moment at which you grow. You can play at the pace of the story or you can choose to take a break from the story and level up your characters. I usually choose to take a break and attempt to get make my characters as powerful as possible and then easily progress through the story. Which is the same way I tackle challenges in life. I try to gather as much knowledge and skills before hand and to be able to easily tackle conquer my challenges. While writing all of this I realised how much this is connected to my sense of delayed gratification. Yes I could get results quicker but would I be equally satisfied with the result? Probably not.
While playing RPG’s I do all the possible optional side quest before tackling the main the story. Side quest tend to flesh out the story and give you a better sense of the world. Which I also do in my daily life. I enjoy really getting to know others. It could be someone which I might work with for a particular project or a long term partner. Even when the relationship is strictly business, I make an attempt to learn as much as possible about the person, company and what interest them. In this case the main story is the business aspect and the needed result, while the side stories are all the other aspects.
These are but a few examples of how my personality influences the way I play and maybe even the games I play. Insights such as these is what lies at the heart of gamification, which makes games a wonderful two way street of learning about oneself but also learning about others.
Does gaming reflect your mindset? What is your opinion on this and how do you play games?
Reach out to me and let me know if you could link your gaming style to your mindset and personality.