Rozovian’s Music Log


Posted by Ad on December 16, 2010

Talking about Mass Effect brought up something else. Skill points. It’s the real-world equivalent of actual skills, except you don’t actually need to know anything, and learning is done by fidgeting with something for long enough or just accomplishing something possibly unrelated and deciding to gain that specific skill.

Which kind’a bothers me. I know how much easier it is for a game to have a vehicle which either is or isn’t operational, and letting a player character with motor skill x fix it if it wasn’t. But how about minigames that involve a simplified engine and replacing or fixing broken parts. Educational _and_ utilizing ppl’s real-world skills. But then the developers might actually have to know how car engines work. Oh, how difficult.

With more and more areas of education understanding the benefits of game-like learning tools, it’s rather silly that games themselves resort to silly numeric skills. Then again, telekinesis isn’t really a skill you pick up… well, anywhere irl. AFAIK, anyway.

I remember playing America’s Army back when it was compatible with Mac. It was fun. It was educational. Also, someone saved someone’s life using skills he picked up in the game. This is the kind of educational gains games can provide, if only the games would be built to incorporate real-world solutions.

What if you would, irl, successfully fix a car engine through guessing? It wouldn’t work because you don’t have the technical skill, right? Wrong, it’d work. because that’s how the world works. The real one. Now, extend that scenario to medical aid (instead of a magic healing bar or healing gun), electrical systems, metalworks, farming, aiming, etc.

Yeah, about aiming, you don’t really have crosshairs irk. Not half a meter above the weapon at least. Wanna aim close, you line up the sights; wanna run, can’t really aim well; wanna jump and shoot, goodbye accuracy.

But back on topic: the skill point system could be utilized backwards instead, as an indicator for how well you’ve performed different skills. Say we have a game where you’ve got first aid, broken engines, broken electrical systems, and shooting. Say players success rate with these things are tracked. Shooting would be kind’a easy to track, it’s all about how well you hit ppl/things that are clearly targets. Shooting into the sky (which is dangerous, btw) wouldn’t hurt your hit %, but hitting friendlies and missing hostiles would. Broken electrical systems and engines and stuff would also be easy to track – a success rate and a time spent per success… modified by how broken/complicated the things were. First aid could be tracked by checking if you’re following the correct procedure. I’ve taken first aid classes in our scouts group, in school and during my service. I should know the stuff better than I can remember atm. Give me a game with which to remind me, not a game where it’s trivialized in order to make it more “fun”.

On a related note, I want games where one player can command his forced RTS-style, and other players can fight those forces FPS-style. it’d make small LAN-parties so much more interesting.

Anyway, imagine if schools would track more interesting things than just proficiency in the subject taught in the classes taken. That could make kids more interested in learning. Imagine if schools would have disaster days, where select student get to treat (fake) injuries and get ppl out of a (not really) collapsing or burning building. Or give a class a couple of broken vehicles and let them fix them up. See how fast and how well they work. Teamwork _and_ technical skills. Or give them a completely out-there task, like build a synth (I’ve been doing that in Reaktor, it’s made me realize I should have taken more math classes) or do a TV commercial or an emergency plan.

Learning is more versatile than knowing. PPL should realize that while they’re still in school.

I’m becoming more and more interested in survivalism. Contrast that with how much time I spent in front of the computer, and see how that makes sense. 😀


One Response to “Skills”

  1. 2B said

    Ahem, if I may.
    Basically you want to combine all kinds of simulator games (like farm simulator LOL) into one game and then add some RPG and FPS games into that.

    And on that “fixing by guessing”. Isn’t evolution supposed to work like that? 🙂 Only you should guess with an IQ of say 2.

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