Constant practice required
During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!
This week: This time, I think about the requirement of complex computer games to constantly practice the own skills in order to perform well.
Practice is not only needed when we want to acquire a new skill, but is also necessary in order to maintain a certain skill level. Naturally, some activities are easier to master than others, but in general, we have to continuously practice every activity to perform well at it. Furthermore, cognitive demanding and/or complex activities require more practice as they involve more skills that have to be practiced.
The demand for a constant practice applies to computer games as well. Depending on the genre, different skills are needed in order to successfully play a computer game and hence those skills must be continuously practiced. In addition, the required skills are also dependent on the computer game’s content which can range from a very simplistic game to a complex and cognitive demanding simulation. However, as most games of a particular genre use the same input game mechanics, the required skills can often be trained by playing any game belonging to a certain genre.
For instance, most First Person Shooter (FPS) games utilize the mouse in order to look around, determine the direction of movement and aim at a target. The player’s movement is controlled by the W, A, S and D keys that enable the player to move forward, sideways or backwards. Hence, by playing one FPS game, a player trains most of the skills which are relevant for all FPS games.
However, as soon as the game’s content is more complex or provides game mechanics that have a unique skill requirement, a player can only practice the relevant skills by playing the computer game requiring those skills. Additionally, the demand for the relevant skills is also dependent on the game’s difficulty level. A game that provides no room for error has a very high demand thus demanding a player to constantly pracitice the required skills in order to excel at the game.
One of those computer games is the realistic racing simulation DiRT Rally. Due to the high complexity of rallying, the game has already a high demand for various skills. In addition, the game provides no room for error thus making practice a mandatory activity in order to perform well at the game. Personally, I noticed that even a two weeks long break can have a significant impact on the own performance.
Although it might be an unusual thing for a computer game to require constant practice, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences to train in such a demanding environment. Becoming better at such a demanding game feels like a real accomplishment and motivates the player to continue to practice it.
In the end, I really enjoy playing DiRT Rally as it challenges me on a very high level and constantly allows me to improve my own skills.