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Martin, Engineer
Category: General
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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Im currently planning out the methodology for my dissertation

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I'm currently planning out the methodology for my dissertation on the skills required/developed by skilled video game players. This would include cognitive skills such as memory/attention/logic and reasoning/visual processing and physical skills such as hand-eye co-ordination and dexterity. I was thinking about observing players whilst asking questions that would highlight the skills and knowledge they need but I am unsure of how to structure the observation and which questions to ask to correctly highlight these skills.
Hello and welcome. I am quite high on the skilled gamers scale so i may be able to help you with that.

Do you have currently a list of questions so far? I could help you to complete it and how to group the date in a meaningful way.

If you want to see skill, don't miss Takahashi Toshiyuki (a legend of skilled gamer)

And that video (someone that played the game will understand the complexity):

I will be back in 6 hour.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just to give you a bit more background information the title of my dissertation is:


"An investigation into the knowledge and skills required by video game players and the extent to which they are used."


I don't have any questions planned out at the moment but they would have to give me answers which show the extent to which the cognitive/physical skills (which I listed originally) are used. I also have my literature review which I could send you if you would like some more information on what it is I am trying to achieve.

Yes, if you think that literature review would help.

First you have to do that kind of research with average player also to be able to compare. Ask what the average player find hard and what the skilled one also find hard but will show you what in their opinion is impressive.

Some of the skills in video games depend heavily on their types.

Adventure games, sand box games, strategy

Fighting games, platformers

Ability to communicate to cooperate
Strategy, 2 player Beat 'em up, first person shooters

Mainly long strategy game session or long tournament of any games

Speed (the time to act on the signal)
Konami "track and field" come to mind.

Reflex (the time to receive the signal)
1 one 1 fighting games, Shmup, racers

First person shooters, Shmup, racers.

Eye movement coordination. How to track only what is important and how to see the play field in an holistic way.

Question should focus on their practice schedule to build motor_memory/reflex (the one where they can't tell you how they do something but if you give them a controller they will show you because their memory is in the reflex/motor center of the brain and they will have to analyze themselves while doing it to be able to communicate that information to you).

You also need to ask them how they think, as in a chess games. how many play in advance or how far in the future they can figure out the game.

Some like me have a good idea of the hardware running the game, the way it was programmed and the network if it is an online game. All those thing can give a player an advantage over an average player.

Note that asking questions while an advanced player is doing his thing can greatly reduce his capabilities (just like when driving with a cell phone increase the risk of accident).

You can include the age of the players from birth and the age they have as a gamer. You can ask them about how playing a type of game help them unlock skills in another type of game, always allowing a progression of their skills.

Ask them about the vocabulary they use to name all kind of things in the game. Average gamer don't name many thing in games, skilled gamers notice a lot of behavior and techniques that even the game designer and programmer have not even imagined could be possible.

I am not sure of how much detail need to be included in that dissertation, feel free to ask anything i have not covered.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX have any ideas for specific questions I could ask to help illustrate the difference in the development of these cognitive skills (logic, attention, memory, visual processing) between the pro and amateur gamers?

Some games have internal way to do this. You can track the final score of the game and also the speed to attain different score within a game.

To test logic you have to ask the gamers why they are doing something and what they will do next. Ideally the pro will have the past and future plan match while the amateur will usually get caught off guard by the game designer. The pro will usually have a plan B while the amateur will often do the same error again and again.

You can ask what game have a situation similar as to what they are playing. The pro will see similitude to past game he experienced while the amateur will often freeze in front of a new problem not knowing too much how to solve it.

The visual processing is as much an oracular vision for a pro gamer, he can see what is not even on screen. He can navigate backward with a character, he can play section without a flashlight in his inventory, he can identify very fast friend or foe in a situation, he can assess very fast the difficulty of a situation.

A pro will know when to retreat and have a plan for a successful escape. A pro will see the detail of a trap before an amateur. A pro will know when not to talk to stay focused in a hard section. A pro will take any secret to his advantage and will always optimize his moving path within the game. A pro will manage his inventory wisely.

A pro will make sure to use the easier section of a game to practice some gameplay to be ready for the hard part where practicing is too risky.

An amateur will have fun by being surprised by a game. A pro also but he will have lot more fun at feeling in control in the game. The amateur is happy to have a good score, the pro expect a good score.

You can ask them those kind of premise and let them elaborate on them. You will see that some pro have different way to solve problem than others. There is not a simple optimized end where all pro eventually reach, they can take different path depending of their past game experience. So asking them their influential early games may be interesting as they where the building block of their current strategy.
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