Couch Podtatoes Ep22: Psychological Search

This week we explored a subject from my own Background, Psychology. While most probably know I’ve been working in Child care for a while, one thing I do have is a Bachelor in Psychology. I never followed through with it, which might have been a little silly. I was a bit disillusioned at the time with what I witnessed of the current state of the mental health system. It’s all rather appalling. I could have still entered a field dealing with statistics and research though, I was quite good at the math side and did find the work interesting… hmmm, maybe later.

Anyway, while completing my psych degree I did learn quite a bit and it did instill an interest in the field which I have kept with me. This episode was a time to get to show this a little and a few elements I’ve been thinking of regarding gaming. NOw it’s  not an in-depth look just more a superficial talk about the elements we all might see, understand and be able to talk about so I’m sure most can relate.

Download / Libsyn / Itunes / Stitcher


I’m sure most people are aware of the Bartle test by now and how it is gaining a greater part of development in mmo’s, one recent example being Wildstar. We also talk about whether some of the other Personality tests might be of use when creating content to be engaging. Tests like the Myer Briggs and The Big 5 which more deal with how you might approach a situation and the emotional reasoning behind it.

This led into a discussion on Identity in games and how we view our characters. Whether we impart our own ideals on our avatars or create separate identities on them and then, how this will often change how we would answer the tests from before.


We discuss Difficulty a little and how we all feel about it’s importance and place in games. The effects in might have in how we approach games as well as the content being developed. I broached a few notions of Self Efficacy as well, the thought of gaining confidence and mastery through completion of difficult content and how this can be broached better in games.

I think I might have to write a post about this I’ve been mulling over for a bit.

Cash Shop 

Yep, we rant about the hate of cash shops and the ways they try, aand succeed in manipulating us. Also how we seem to see the prevalence and focus on this model within the entire industry.

One Article to look at is at Gamasutra that shows a few tricks of ftp we talked about

Video Game Addiction

I make my case for whether or not it can be considered an addiction and we all give a few personal accounts of our own failures of the mind and flesh.

DSM Criteria here, would like your own thoughts too

  • Tolerance: Does the patient tend to need more of the drug over time to get the same effect?
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Does the patient experience withdrawal symptoms when he or she does not use the drug?
  • Continued use of drug despite harm: Is the patient experiencing physical or psychological harm from the drug?
  • Loss of control: Does the patient take the drug in larger amounts, or for longer than planned?
  • Attempts to cut down: Has the patient made a conscious, but unsuccessful, effort to reduce his or her drug use?
  • Salience: Does the patient spend significant time obtaining or thinking about the drug, or recovering from its effects?
  • Reduced involvement: Has the patient given up or reduced his or her involvement in social, occupational or recreational activities due to the drug?

Psychological Benefits

We all have a few stories regarding Gaming’s place and benefit to our own lives. Personally I’m rather introverted, social but introverted and gaming gave me a great outlet to engage with others in a way that was more comfortable. It’s also allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.

Host Contact Information:

Blog: Me vs. Myself and I

Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Guest Contact Information:

Blog: Herding Cats
Twitter: @Liores

Blog: That Angry Dwarf
Twitter: @thatangrydwarf

Blog: Dragonsworn
Twitter: @arolaide

#Podcast #Psycholgy #CouchPodtatoes

Nom Nom Galaxy Preview

So I finished that first preview video and I’m a bit partial on it and just asking for input before putting it live. There are a few things I know to fix for next time. Recording into audacity as well gives me a separate line to work with in Sony Vegas but also lets me clear up the audio in certain ways. The video seemed clean and I think I figured out a decent setting to make the image reasonably clean but a decent size.

Transcript below

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Experiment in Azeroth: Picking a Class

Now I have no idea what the classes entails and haven’t done any research beyond just checking out their names right now. I don’t know how they perform in game with the various activities or their potential at end game so it’s up to you to pick my class.

Voting finished
Ended up with Paladin for the class to boost and Druid to level

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Experiment in Azeroth

I’ve always been a self confessed wow hater… hmm, more than that. Something more akin to a deep loathing exuding from every pore of my body. I played it once, years ago but that just involved booting up the trial version, making a blood elf and then quitting within an hour because i hated the character, the skills, the combat, the aesthetic and well, the game in general.

I guess by then I’d already been a little spoiled by the modern adaptation and then going back to playing wow was more like trying the inferior product. I honestly still don’t understand the appeal either, I get and even champion the importance of social connections in mmo’s but still.. how could a game this bad get this many people to play.

I also hate the influence WoW has had on the genre too. How near every company creating a mmo in the last decade has tried, and failed to copy the success of wow. I want a diverse marketplace and experiences and what we are getting is just repeating the same style of gameplay. I’m over that and I blame WoW.

I also just don’t understand the success. How in the hell did it even achieve what it did. 12 million players at it’s peak, that’s just insane  and nothing has ever come close within the western market. How in the hell after over a year of absolutely no new content can they gain subscribers. Any other mmo doing that would be shutting down its servers about now yet they are thriving. I just don’t understand.

Now this loathing does come down to ignorance and lot of making my own opinions based on hearsay and personal bias and in a way that is a bit wrong. As time goes on I’m also seem to get a little more curious about wow, about experiencing the game that birthed the modern mmo industry and brought it into the general population. To also try and find or at least gain a glimpse of that mysterious something that makes it more than the sum of it’s parts. Having Murf recently bring it up as well, plus a new and i think, popular expansion sealed that interest.

Now I know nothing about wow. I’ve never read up on it, I don’t know the classes, or characters or the lingo beyond basic mmo types of short talk. I don’t know about the lore beyond orcs hate humans and that’s more based on my RTS days. I’m not invested in the mmo in slightest yet I think it will be an interesting experiment going into it this way, as a complete outsider that popped her mmo cherry on the modern mmo’s and remain a slave to their conveniences… plus pretty visuals.

So here I go… On an experiment in Azeroth

Oh and Secondary Post incoming with a poll to pick both my boosted class and the one to level.

#wow #noob

The Power of Zerg Compels you

The one thing I’ve noticed about pvp mmo’s or those that are more based around open pvp is that they are rather unbalanced by numbers. It is the zergs that often dominate and I find that far more damaging than the frequency and style of ganking. Getting ganked is fleeting but zergs are often able to completely dominate a server when they are on and get increased rewards because of it.

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Musings on Mass Effect 3

It’s funny coming into some of these huge, and rather controversial titles so far after their release because the general buzz has mostly died down so you kind of get the chance to be a little more subjective on the game. You aren’t as influenced by the talk, reviews or any other conversations about the title. It is nice to be involved in the zeitgeist of a gaming release, the excitement or disappointment, that drone of conversation that you get to contribute to. It’s just the time of sharing the interest in our medium and game with like-minded people but sometimes I feel like it influences you a little too much.

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Link Dead Radio: Making up for lost time edition

Bel Folks Stuff is a new Podcast project from the venerable Belghast where he interviews people from the Blogging community about their interests, current issues and news and a lot of other things. Looks to be a great series that’s only just begun. Check out the Second show form this week where Rowan Blaze and his wife Scooter joined Bel.

and now let’s continue to some more links and vids
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Archeage and Continuing the Cash Shop Hate

Archeage makes me hate free to play, and no that isn’t so kind of hyperbolic. I’ve always been rather partial on the payment model and even supportive at times as it does have many good points. Now I’ve ranted about this all before, a huge AAA rant of awesomeness with part 1 and part 2 still available for your viewing pleasure and I thought that would be the end of it. Unfortunately I find myself in the same position again of liking a game, or liking what it could have been but with a monetization scheme that does it’s best to ruin that for me and now I’m becoming far more negative about ftp in general.

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Down Time and Group Growth

My first night back with the computer, the bright screen flashed up and i logged in to my windows screen to see a collection of games before me yet before the question of what to play turned into “I have nothing to play” I’d already loaded up Archeage and entered the guild Teamspeak to talk once more with everyone.

It’s funny the familiarity and level of comfort mmo’s hold with me in this regards. They seem to be the game you can turn to when there is nothing else and it’s a pretty easy decision to make, especially when you have friends or a guild waiting for me. It’s times like these where I can kind of understand the pull games like WoW have on people. That level of comfort they hold in peoples hearts and the way they help people connect with others. It’s a strong point of the industry that I don’t feel as many mmo’s really tap into as much with how they seemingly abandon the importance of groups and guilds.

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Progress Report: Back from the Dead

As you can see the blog has been a little abandoned lately. I actually think this is the biggest break from writing here since the blogs inception which Is rather weird. I’ve had that rain, hail or shine type attitude here with post timing. A stalwart approach making sure there was always, at least a few posts a week, including my regular Monday link post.

The reason is that some of the family from peters side came to visit us all the way from Sydney. They stayed at our house for the time and of course it’s a little rude to sit back on my puter while they mill around the house, or so I’m told. The weekend was pretty busy with them, chatting and such the first day, a big lunch with a lot of the other family meeting up the next and just the usual things. They also seemed to stay up late which night have been my one bastion for writing… Well, there was one night but the gaming withdrawals needed to be filled more than the blogging ones.

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