[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

rayzam rayzam at home.com
Fri Oct 5 00:49:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "J Aitken" <djaitken at bigpond.net.au>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Hopson" <jhopson at nc.rr.com>

>> Exactly.  Stimulus, response.  Orc, fireball.  :)


>> Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that setting up an
>> effective schedule of reinforcement is all there is to a game,
>> any more than grammar is all there is to Shakespeare.  But it is
>> an essential component of the medium, and one that deserves
>> respect and attention.

> I agree it deserves respect and certaianly attention but dont know
> if I agree that behavioural psych is a neutral tool thats just
> about 'making a more comfortable game'.  This strikes me too much
> as similar to gambling institutions claiming that gambling is
> 'just another form of entertainment' whilst doing things to
> prevent people realising how deep they're getting into trouble -
> the classic one being not having any clocks in view so people dont
> relaise how long they've been there, and not having the outside
> easily viewable so they dont see what time of day it is.

It depends on what part of behavioral psych you're talking about. I
would state that it can be positive, it can be neutral, or it can be
negative. How's that for covering all bases? One caveat is that I
may define behavioral psych differently than others do. For more
concrete examples:

  Positive: realizing gender-based cognitive differences for use in
  level design. Using Gestalt grouping principles in relation to
  limited capacity cognitive systems.

  Neutral: having salient feedback systems - we like seeing bright
  lights and hearing positive noises, but try to avoid grating
  sounds and harsh images. Immersion into the game world.

  Negative: examples like given above.

Psychology is a tool. It can be used to aid in learning. It can be
used in underhanded manipulation. You see it in everday life without
thinking about it. Once again, it's how its used that is the issue.

Red automatically captures our attention/increases arousal. What
color are stop signs? Brake lights? Traffic lights? Aw man, the
government is manipulating me by keying into the way my brain works
to make me pay attention. Or those campaigns against drunk driving:
Saving other people's lives didn't work. Losing your own life didn't
work. 'The life you save may be your own' worked best. There's a
framing effect when it comes to risk-averse versus risk-taking
behavior. The way you phrase the question or the situation will
predispose a person's response to it. So it's good in drunk driving
campaigns, but could also be used in gambling situations [or in
propaganda to invest in a company, for instance].

These are just some examples of cognitive and social psych research.
There is an everyday-joe knee-jerk reaction that psych is about
manipulating people/deceiving people, which just isn't the
case. Though that reaction does come from a few key historical
studies that got a lot of popular press, so it wasn't unfounded,
it's just a narrow view.

Broadening the view,

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