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Gamers are not jacks of all trades.
A common joke among Filipinos centers around the theme of being jacks of all trades. “Hijo, ba’t di mo maayos yung ref namin? Sayang naman inaral mo na IT”, the joke, half-meant or not, falsely attributes IT specialists with the ability to handle any issues with electronic appliances.
Interestingly enough, for those unfamiliar with gaming, there is a similar theme; being a professional gamer does not necessarily mean that they are good at any and all video games. A fact that is shown in WCG Ultimate Gamer, an old reality show pitting gamers of different specialties in a Big-Brother like environment.
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Due to the rising popularity of esports, it is inevitable that game developers share the spotlight with other, similar competitors. Dota 2, League of Legends, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang are some of the more popular esport titles for the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre while Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, and Overwatch are among the biggest names in the First Person Shooter (FPS) market.
In a sense, it may seem reasonable to think that being good in one game means you are equally good in similar games, but there are other factors to consider that can make two seemingly similar games feel like they are worlds apart.
Lets take for instance the mentioned FPS titles. Certain skills can carry over from game to game such as a player’s mechanical skill to aim. In FPS games, being able to hit targets and eliminate them relies on concepts such as crosshair placement and hand-eye coordination. These skills carry over across the mentioned games. However, there are game-specific nuances such as one’s shot accuracy while moving, that may differ.
One example is that of game sense, that is, one’s personal assessment of the current situation in-game. Which players are strong, weak, fast, slow, and how can we turn the said information to a winning formula? FPS games have significant differences in certain mechanics such as equipment and skills. Overwatch and Valorant for example has different heroes or agents with unique abilities such as being able to create walls, heal teammates, or fly through the air as opposed to CS:GO that simulates a more realistic, military and tactical approach with its equipment, all soldiers are equal in every way with the exception of the weapons chosen.
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This concept drastically changes how professional players approach strategy within the games. The concept highlights one of the core ideas in developmental psychology such that one’s environment has a distinct impact on each person and can thus be a driving force for change in one’s life. Imagine if two twins were separated at birth (much like a filipino telenovela), even if they are practically identical biologically, one child may have a stronger physique because he/she was raised in a sporty household and grew up training compared to their brother/sister.
Each individual game is much like a discipline, while most games require a minimum level of mechanical skill, the differences in each choice of game can help develop different aspects of an individual in the right circumstances. Certain games reward careful planning and strategy, while others sharpen reflexes and quick decision-making. Inevitably, gaming has slowly become a part of popular culture compared to 30 years ago. Instead of repeating old, conservative views on gaming, it is time to explore how to use these games as a tool for positive, healthy development for each individual.