Instead of talking about gamers like a rare species in a zoo I thought it would be better to interview one.
For those of you who are thinking that the mindset of a millennial is unproductive and lazy, have a look at Chase describing what it takes to accomplish teamwork and why specialization matters.
Chase Conner is a 23-year-old gamer. He has been gaming since he was nine. He likes games where you are part of a team trying to accomplish a goal together.
In a previous article of this series I compared the four things that games make us good at with the four things that motivate people.
To Chase, a sense of progress seems to be an important motivator, both in gaming and in our daily lives. As he describes, progress is what everyone is working for:
- Recognition: You do something so that it is known to the community that you have done that;
- Mastery: You want to be the one to make your character more valuable in the community.
From Boredom to Commitment
Nevertheless, gaming mostly starts with being bored and sitting around. But once you enter that world you want to be part of it and build your reputation.
- It begins with ‘I have nothing to do’.
- But it becomes: ‘I want to do more’.
It is striking to see that gamers like Chase have a very clear view on what it takes to create teamwork.
If you really want to be good at the game you have to your job. Everybody has a role. If you want to win you do your job.
For example, some people’s role is to attack or defend. If you have signed up to play in a certain class or rank, you have clearly chosen to accomplish a certain task. If you choose to kill people instead, the failure of the team is a direct result of that.
Surprisingly, Chase advises us not to intervene and to control the people who are not doing their job. They know what their job is and it makes no use for him to yell at them. They are not doing their job because they choose to kill people instead.
Over time, if they want to win, they will change their mind. I cannot do that for them. I have no direct influence. My influence is limited to their own feelings toward the game. Once they have received enough failure, they will change their mind.
Chase has no illusions on what is in the reach of his own actions: I can only control my own actions.
Without any hesitation, Chase reports that specialization is his biggest takeaway so far from gaming.
In the beginning you want to be good at everything. The point is to specialize as early as you can in a certain role so you can grow and become the best in your class.
The necessity of specialization lies in the need to allocate the limited time we have to a specific task. But the real benefit of specialization surfaces when the time comes to be chosen for a team or a mission. That is when you will be picked as the best of your class. Therefore Chase advises us to specialize as soon as we can.