Game thinking from Adam Clare

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Playing Game Theory with Monkeys

The title of this post is half true, but it sounds awesome doesn’t it? This TED talk by Colin Camerer is a good illustration off the predictive power of game theory.

When two people are trying to make a deal — whether they’re competing or cooperating — what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals just how little we’re able to predict what others are thinking. And he presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it than we are. (Filmed at TEDxCalTech.)

League of Legends Use Neuroscientists to Curb Bad Online Behaviour

I’m loving the “new” Polygon and an article from a few weeks ago is an example of why their game coverage is so enjoyable.

League of Legends (LoL) is a game that is classified as a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and is known to have a rather, um, rude community around it. As Polygon repots, LoL is using psychologists and neuroscientists to increase positivity in the community.

Earlier this year, Riot Games started assembling its player behavior team, bringing in PhDs in cognitive neuroscience, human factors psychology, and statistics to reduce toxic behavior online and increase sportsmanship in the League of Legends community.

The really cool thing about their approach is that they are already making a difference. They have changed the behaviour through a combination of small user experience modification to introducing entirely new game mechanics. The ability of mechanics to change how people interact is blatantly obvious in their approach.

“We want to show other companies and other games that it is possible to tackle player behavior and with certain systems and game design tools, we can shape players to be more positive.”

One of Riot’s experiments in curbing negative behavior was a simple one: turning off all-player chat as a default. Players had to opt-in to it. Prior to the experiment, Riot says that more than 80 percent of player chat was “extremely negative,” compared to 8.7 percent positive.

A week later, after turning off all-player chat as the default, many players still opted in, but behavior changed. According to Riot, negative chat saw a decrease by 32.7 percent. Positive chat went up, by 34.5 percent. A drop in offensive language and verbal abuse was also observed.

Via the Mary Sue.

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