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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Interesting article about taste and opinion.

2 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4707

GW2 socialist.

OP  2/08/13 4:12:15 PM#1

I subscribe to on my Facebook, so I was reading this article earlier.

Now obviously Cracked is a humor site, but they usually know their stuff and sometimes post interesting factual lists like this one that just happen to bring up funny images in one's head.  But as I read the last one, on page 2 of the piece, called  #1. Analyzing Your Thoughts Too Hard Can Change Your Opinions for the Worse, I thought of gamers and more specifically, MMO players.

Going by this information about our brains, does it not make sense that if we don't like a game within the first day, that people who tell us we're wrong for not playing for a month are, in fact, just enjoying the game better themselves?  Does it matter how long we play something?

For example, I didn't like TSW at all when I played it during the trial.  Would I be likely to change my mind with more playtime?

For another example, I enjoyed GW2 the first time I played it, and I never second guessed it, but I know a few people who did.  Their enjoyment of what they admitted was fun gameplay was turned completely around by reading sites like this one and Reddit and watching people complain about things as subtle as the portals between zones.  She stopped liking the game because of something that almost never affected her time playing it.

I'm wondering if this is because she thought about it too much like the article suggests.  Any game could be filled in to replace GW2, but I thought it would be interesting to discuss.

The text of the list # I'm referring to, for those who don't want to find it on Cracked.

So you might read all of this and say, "See, this is why it's important to logically think through all of our opinions! It's because we make these dumb knee-jerk choices that we're so easy to manipulate."
OK, what if we told you that in many cases, thinking longer about a decision actually makes you more wrong?
Wait, What?
Have you ever gotten talked out of liking something? Maybe you saw The Dark Knight Rises in the theater and had a great time, but the next day you started talking to your movie connoisseur friends and they pointed out all of the plot holes ("When did Batman have time to paint his logo on the bridge?!"). Over time, it gets to where you can't even admit to yourself that you enjoyed it. Even when you think back to your experience in the theater, all you're thinking about is the plot holes.
You might convince yourself that thinking about the subject led you to the "right" opinion, but studies show that you can just as easily be steered from a correct opinion to a wrong one.
Researchers tested this with a couple of experiments where subjects were asked to offer an opinion on things like which college course they preferred or which brand of jam tasted better. The catch was that some of the participants were asked to simply taste or sample the thing and move on, while others were asked to really think about their decision before making it official. The subjects who mulled over their opinions were way less in line with the opinions of experts than the others. The more they thought about it, the more wrong they became. How is this possible?
Well, when you're forced to think through or express why you like something, you're immediately biased toward opinions that you can actually explain or verbalize. In other words, you may taste five jams and decide that No. 4 just tasted better, because in that moment your senses were taking in a thousand different factors you weren't consciously thinking about. But when pressured to actually explain in detail which one you liked best, you're looking for easily quantifiable things -- suddenly you're talking about how No. 2 had more berries, or how No. 1 had better color. In reality, neither of those things actually affected your enjoyment. You're just trying to make it sound like you made your decision based on an easily explainable chain of logic when in reality your tongue had it right all along.
It's kind of like the example with the movie (if you hated The Dark Knight Rises, feel free to substitute any movie you changed your opinion on months later). While you were watching it, the sum of all of its parts may have swept you away, but if somebody made you create a list of pros and cons, you'd realize that you can't logically defend your choice. Or maybe you had a relationship with someone who you thought you were madly in love with, but a hundred conversations with friends changed your mind ("Yeah, I guess he did wear a lot of holiday-themed sweaters ...").
When forced to stick with qualities that are simpler and easier to discuss, suddenly the spell is broken. Congratulations, you have successfully used logic to kill your own enjoyment of something. Thanks a lot, brain.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

2/09/13 7:20:18 AM#2

 Your state of mind, emotions, has a significant impact on your attention to details and your perception of the product.

"[...] someone who is relaxed, happy in a pleasant mood, is more creative, more able to overlook and cope with minor problems with a device - especially if it's fun to work with. Recall the reviewer of the Mini Cooper automobile [...] who recommended that the car's faults be ignored because it was so much fun. [...] Designers can get away with more if the product is fun and enjoyable." -Don Norman, Attractive things work better (2003)

Another good example of a similar effect was the first few iPhones. They had significant flaws in them, but the user-experience, novelty, brandname and the aesthetics were so powerful many users overlooked those faults. You couldn't even send text-messages with the first model.

He continues: "Second, when people are anxious, they are more focused..." meaning they pay more attention to details. "Things intended to be used under stressful situations require a lot more care, with much more attention to detail." In other words, people who are unhappy are likely to notice every mistake however small and they see the product as a collection of features rather than a product as a whole entity.

It is very much in the game designer's favor to have a good CGI trailer, soundtrack and graphics to drive the player's emotions to a positive direction. A happy player is more likely to like the game and is likely to overlook some of the mistakes you've made.


Another point, I remember reading from a study which tried to measure the effectiveness of intuition in decisionmaking. Between intuition and rationalization, experts were better off trusting their intuition rather than rationalizing the problem whereas novices received better results through rationalizing. In this context, should an experienced gamer trust his/her instincts rather than try to list and rationalize all the features in a game?


I know I don't try to rationalize the games I like. Atleast, not immediately. The game Faster than Light for example, it was very addictive and charming game, but I couldn't put my finger on it why I liked it so much. Whereas if I'm dragged into a game which I don't care about, by a friend, I make a point and analyze everything in it.

I find that my friends are more likely to like a game when they discover it by themselves. I'd much rather use careful prompts rather than advertise "this game is good, you'll love it". I don't know if this is only my friends but immediately when I say that, or something similar, they become more sceptical and reserved.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky