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Tutorial Doctor

Everyone Wins?

29 posts in this topic

Uh, huh?

 

My opinion:

 

I keep hearing people talk about this topic, and I can't believe it is a serious discussion. If there is a game where everyone wins, how is it even a game (especially examining the history of games). This even worse than giving out valueless achievements in video games to make player feel accomplished. 

 

You don't change a generation of losers into winners by making them automatic winners. Imagine if military personnel were instructed this way. They don't have to train, they don't have to work hard to build themselves up, because they will automatically win the war. Let a war happen, they will get whooped. And if children in youth sports are being trained this way, you can bet in the future the military will be trained this way. 

 

Old games used to provide more of a challenge, and most "gamers" today quit as soon as they run into a puzzle or problem that proves frustrating to solve. Imagine how the next generation will be.

 

This is another degradation of society.

 

Please tell me that no one here agrees with this, I mean, you are a game developer...

 

P.S. I guess this is like an infinite way tie?

 

Wait, no, you still have to compete for a tie. smh.

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
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I wonder if this attitude ( every one wins ) is why so many kids believe "if you try you can succeed at anything" - and when reality sinks in, they end up eating anti depressant pills like candy their entire adult life.

Edited by Shippou
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"Everybody win" culture. In America? I'm surprised.

The (maybe...ok surely) stereotypical image I have of Americans is more like : "There can only be one winner! And it's not you!" Isn't the entrepreneur spirit something very "american"? I can't imagine a entrepreneur having the thoughts of "everybody win". I mean "Amurica fuck yeah!", right? ^^'
 

Sorry for this, and let's get back to the topic.

The article nailed it. Making everybody winning is equal everybody losing. And I don't think it's a good way of living, at all.

But, I understand that the extreme in the other way is equally wrong. Pushing someone (especially the kids) to always win no matter the consequences is not good for them, I think. It reminds me of the japanese or chinese studient who have an insane amount of pressure because they have to win. No matter the cost. I saw picture of chinese studying in a library perfused with energizer of whatever this was. Horrible.

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Game and competition aren't the same thing.  If you are talking about single-player games, yes for many of them all the players are eventually supposed to get to the end, which is one kind of winning.  You aren't winning against other people, you are winning against all the times you failed levels or battles or whatever on the way there.  So there's both losing and winning there, but because the winning comes last it overwrites the losing in people's minds.  And that's the way it's supposed to be.  Games are a form of entertainment, and just like movies and novels their deep-down purpose is making the audience feel thing they want to feel, and pay to feel.  People generally will pay to feel challenge followed by success.  Too-easy success sells, but not as well as the challenging kind.  Some kinds of failure, like tragedies and unhappy-ending stories, sell to the audience which likes that kind of thing, which is somewhat smaller than the audience that likes happy endings, but definitely out there buying things.  What people won't by is a sense of incompletion; that's abundant in real life, and humans don't particularly like that feeling anyway.  So for single-player games players generally expect and like a game they can get to the end of.  Which for single-player games is the same as saying a game that everyone can win, if they put in the time.

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Something like 35 years ago (so nothing new here), my family would go to my dad's company picnics. They had these races for various age groups of kids and as I recall there were ribbons for first, second, third, and participant. When I look back at that and think about the "everybody wins" thing, I think that's a way to do it right. Kids that got the participant ribbons didn't win but they did participate and a ribbon is a simple enough token to mark the achievement of having stepped up and tried something. Giving something for participating seems reasonable to me. It says, "I was there. I tried something."

 

That said, it shouldn't be confused with being the best participant.

If you're still thinking, "why bother," then think about why we bother to take pictures when we go on vacation. I think it's the same thing.

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I would have to agree for the most part - though a small minority of kids are smart enough to know when to call it quits. I think they should be encouraged to try many different activities until they find something that they are very passionate about. Parents can only do so much though and I feel like society is growing accustomed to 'achievements' not taking nearly any effort. From a game perspective I feel this applies more to multiplayer games rather than single player.

 

For example, as an avid World of Warcraft player Blizzard has made some questionable decisions in the games design within the last few years. Before in order to get the most powerful items in the game you had to devote some time to not only making friends, but working together as a team to defeat bosses. As I am sure you can imagine this would have required many hours a week in order to achieve. As time went on they decided the best option for their game was an experience where everyone was able to get the items while seeing the content the game had to offer. Gone was the sense of achievement with getting a cool new piece of gear for your character because a majority of the player base now an easy access to gear. It is so bad that you can just show up and stand there, do nothing, and still have the same chance of getting cool items as someone who actually contributes.

 

Part of the reasoning was that they wanted players to experience content they would normally be unable to experience - which is something I agree with. Creating content less than 10% of players will see is wasted effort. I disagree everyone should be getting roughly the same quality items. Now that Blizzard has decided to say "if you want such item you must put the effort in" by removing the easy access to purple fuzzy feeling inducing items, many players have became upset. The entire thing solely revolves more around getting a piece of loot with a color than what the content actually is.. The participation ribbon in this case should just be able to see the content, while a trophy from putting in some work is a shiny piece of armor to wear around. Maybe the average player base age shifted to a younger audience, or the rise in instant gratification phone games contributed to this thinking - I'm not sure. 

 

Just my thoughts... rolleyes.gif

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The problem with the video game example is that producers have incentives to let more people acquire the trophy. The more people that feel like they have a shot at something cool, the more money they make in sales and subscriptions.

One of the other things this had me thinking was about how for a team sport a particular team can dominate a league because there's one or two particularly skilled players. Do the remaining people on the team deserve credit for the win?

In response to that and the over all competition thing, I was wondering what if you created a league such that for a given pool of players you were to arrange things so the players on teams changed for each game as did the positions that the players play? (There'd be issues where particular equipment for a particular position came into play but perhaps something can be worked out). Would it better achieve what parents want with the "everybody wins" concept? Now that I think of it, that sounds a lot like gym class but why couldn't it be done outside school as well?

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Creating content less than 10% of players will see is wasted effort.

 

 

I deeply dislike Blizzards way of thinking here. If 90% of the players don't see a certain dungeon and endboss, and the resulting rewards just on other characters, then it means that 90% of the players are motivated to achieve something, while 10% of the players are bored because they have seen everything the game has to offer.

Also, if x% of these 90% at some time realize that they lack something to achieve XY, be it time, dedication, skill or money, does it really has to lead to frustration and leaving? I don't believe people are so incapable to survive a reality-check and admit that there are other players who can do things they can't, and that it is impossible to still have fun in a game, even if you are proven to not be the best.

Warm-up for my rant completed, time to stop here.

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Creating content less than 10% of players will see is wasted effort.

 

 

I deeply dislike Blizzards way of thinking here. If 90% of the players don't see a certain dungeon and endboss, and the resulting rewards just on other characters, then it means that 90% of the players are motivated to achieve something, while 10% of the players are bored because they have seen everything the game has to offer.

Also, if x% of these 90% at some time realize that they lack something to achieve XY, be it time, dedication, skill or money, does it really has to lead to frustration and leaving? I don't believe people are so incapable to survive a reality-check and admit that there are other players who can do things they can't, and that it is impossible to still have fun in a game, even if you are proven to not be the best.

Warm-up for my rant completed, time to stop here.

 

I'm not sure you're taking time into account properly here.  When they say 90% of players don't see a particular piece of content, that means that in the player's entire lifespan as a player of an MMO they didn't ever see that content.  That's not the same as being motivated to see it.  Instead it means that either they were unable to see it despite being motivated to do so, or they weren't motivated enough to tackle the associated requirements, or they were busy doing something more motivating, or they never knew it was there.

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1. This has been a rampint issue in the USA, your just finding out now?

2. lets give everyone "participation points" for how much they intteract on a forum, they may get more or less on who agrees with them, but we all get points for just posting, the more we post, the more "status" we have? sound familiar?

 

3. Things usually go from military > civilain life

 

4. the reward of playing a game should be the experince of the game, not some artifical badge or something, yet it works, hence achievements.

 

5. The generation whos weened on this will likelly just get hit harder when they get out of school.

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It's a double edge sword that has no easy solution. I actually disagree with the article.

 

 

Today, we are so afraid of hurting someone’s delicate feelings and creating a feeling of exclusion that we reward people for underperformance.

This line, for example, seems straight forward, but I have several friends who grew up not being rewarded for underperformance and now they work at gas stations, grocery stores, and hardware stores as clerks. They all battle depression and have grown to have the mentality that they aren't cut out for anything. It never made them feel like they needed to practice more to achieve something. Don't get me wrong, I don't think them getting rewarded for underperformance would have made a difference, but we will never know.

 

This article falls in the same line as the whole lying to children telling them they can achieve anything when it simply isn't true. The problem is that if you lie and tell them they can, then the child may pursue their interests (or not, could make them think they are entitled to get the job with no effort; double edged sword). Telling them the truth that they aren't cut out for everything could result in them never bothering to try in school or finding an interest (or, as the article optimistically points out, could make them strive to find an interest and pursue it; again the double edged sword). It depends on the mentality of the child and not the people that lie to them. I've seen kids I grew up with given everything who thought they were entitled to everything, I've seen kids I grew up with given everything and still bust their but to get what they have now, I've seen kids have nothing and bust their butts to get what they have now as adults, and I've seen kids have nothing and do nothing to get a better life for themselves.

 

Sure, we mold their minds some, but in the end it is their outlook that determines it. Look at Al Capone, his parents were religious and from what I have read were role model parents. His parents, from historical accounts, only awarded their kids for their achievements, but Al Capone and the rest of his brothers (can't recall how many he had) all became criminals.

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...

 

 

Rewarding people for accomplishing things is just a natural thing to do.  You can sit at the bottom of an apple tree, and wait for apples to fall to eat them.  If no apples falling, you don't eat and ultimately die.  If you put the extra effort, and climb the tree, you will get all the apples you want.  Extra effort should always be rewarded.

 

You can sit around on your couch doing nothing.  Your body will weaken, and lose its muscles.  Or, you can press forward, run, exercise, and since you impose these resistances to the body, your body will get stronger.  Nature rewards you with stronger bones and muscles for doing more activities.

 

What bad is comparing results to others.  That is the double edged sword.  Comparing results lead to jealousy.  Comparing results lead to arrogance.  Both of them can lead to the downfall of any individual, or collectively, a society.

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I was wondering what if you created a league such that for a given pool of players you were to arrange things so the players on teams changed for each game as did the positions that the players play?

 

That sounds weird but interesting. If someone did create such a sport, they should actually design each 'position' you are required to play so it exercises different muscles of your body, so when you're cycling through all the positions over the year you are getting a really balanced and focused workout. (suppose a 'season' lasts 32 games, and you cycle position once every 4 games, with 8 different positions, so you play every position every year).

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If sports ever reaches computer gaming, I want a badge for lining up in joggingpants infront of the PC!

_

Edit: SunAndShadow, I understood it that way you described, over the whole lifespan. I just think there is a place for each kind of game, also competitive ones, and what I probably really dislike (I have to say though that I never played WoW and wouldnt call it exactly competitive anyway) is the fact that they nerfed such elements. As player I'd expect a bit consistency in that regard.

Edited by riidom
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The article goes on about sports, but a similar thing happens in many areas. Graduation from preschool or early grades. Recognition for minor things.


In one sense, I can agree with the article and the original poster. Too much recognition over minor things is a problem.

On another sense, I disagree with them and agree with those who want to recognize children.

There are some good things to reward, and some bad things to reward.

When a child is recognized "You are so smart", or "You are so fast", or some other uncontrollable trait, those are bad rewards that a few people mistakenly say. They are bad for recognizing attributes outside the child's control, like a reward for being tall or a reward for having rich parents. These are well studied and are known to backfire badly. The child says "What if I am not smart? What if it was a fluke?" or they think "What if I try and fail, does that mean I am not smart?" Many kids will shut down, become withdrawn or anxious, and if the recognition stops they fear they have lost the trait.

Recognition like "You worked so hard for this", or "You overcame your challenges" or "You figured out what needed to be done, and you did it", these rewards can be powerful for good. These are things inside a child's loci of control. The child learns that they can take an action and the can be rewarded for those actions. Like a 'participant' ribbon they are not told they are the best, but they are rewarded for the efforts they contributed. They get a "good job" and a pat on the back and they are encouraged to continue to participate in new challenges again.



Too many children have really terrible lives. I work with youth about 6 hours per week, but my wife volunteers countless hours (and is paid for a small number of hours) each year to several local public schools. I've seen some of these stories, but she tells me (anonymous) horror stories about some of the kids and the lives they are coming from. Some have frequent welfare checks to see if the child should be removed from not quite illegally abusive families, others are not quite illegally neglectful families. Stories of 7 year old and 8 year old children basically raised by older siblings and no money for things like food (but the parents have money for alcohol and smokes). Stories of 14 year old kids who get jobs to help the family budget. Stories of childhood rape victims who overcome tremendous fear to simply attend school. Stories of kids who are bullied in school, teased mercilessly to the point of considering suicide and completely dropping out of school, or otherwise have serious concerns.

Too many of these kids need recognition. In their personal life they have no hope, they are degraded, they have no self esteem, they struggle for the most basic things. For too many kids these recognitions are among the only "good job" they will receive in life. There are many kids who see the near goal with the tiny token of recognition at the end, and that little bit of recognition is an amazing motivator.

I have watched kids get recognized where a teacher tells to everyone that the student worked especially hard and overcome extra challenges, and it has transformed the child's life. I watched several years ago one girl, about age 10 who only two leaders knew was repeatedly raped by her father until he was finally arrested and the family moved, get a reward for her efforts. After the brief recognition she tried to hide but her new friends kept her (quite uncomfortably) in the spotlight. They didn't know why the girl was so reclusive but they lavished praise on her for simply showing up. The other girls didn't know why she was reclusive and didn't like to participate, but they constantly praised her for her efforts. I watched over several years as the group of girls supported the reclusive girl and helped her learn to trust humanity again.



In the first group, of course there are the ones described in the article and original post. Some of the entitled kids will continue to feel even more entitled.

In a second group, some of the kids will just put the reward and recognition on a shelf along with all their other awards and trophies. But that by itself is not a bad thing, building their esteem and a feeling that they actually do have the ability to accomplish something. They will internalize messages like "I can apply myself to reach goals", which is a good thing.

And in a third group, for many others the rewards are all they have. They have very little to build on in their lives, and even though to outsiders it may seem a minor triumph, the task of completing a grade of school or finding time to practice an instrument while raising their siblings or practicing for a winning team while facing abuse at home or whatever it is, the seemingly minor triumph may have required a Herculean effort from the child.

For the last two groups, YES, we should recognize their achievements and recognize their efforts. Even if it may not seem like much to you, it can mean the world to the child. Edited by frob
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...

 

 

Rewarding people for accomplishing things is just a natural thing to do.  You can sit at the bottom of an apple tree, and wait for apples to fall to eat them.  If no apples falling, you don't eat and ultimately die.  If you put the extra effort, and climb the tree, you will get all the apples you want.  Extra effort should always be rewarded.

 

You can sit around on your couch doing nothing.  Your body will weaken, and lose its muscles.  Or, you can press forward, run, exercise, and since you impose these resistances to the body, your body will get stronger.  Nature rewards you with stronger bones and muscles for doing more activities.

 

What bad is comparing results to others.  That is the double edged sword.  Comparing results lead to jealousy.  Comparing results lead to arrogance.  Both of them can lead to the downfall of any individual, or collectively, a society.

 

Ermm....I don't know how to reply to that because you seem to be arguing a different type of reward than the article or I was talking about. My reply was commenting the article Tutorial Doctor posted ( http://prosportschick.com/editorials/the-everybody-wins-culture-in-america-how-we-are-creating-a-generation-of-losers/492/ ) and to Shippou's comment of:

 

I wonder if this attitude ( every one wins ) is why so many kids believe "if you try you can succeed at anything" - and when reality sinks in, they end up eating anti depressant pills like candy their entire adult life.

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I believe that winning needs to be acknowledged/ rewarded. It raises the bar and makes people better at things. This applies even more in business, the term "meritocracy" explains it a bit.

A nice quote from the movie "The rock":
'winers do their best, winners f*ck the prom queen"
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I keep hearing people talk about this topic, and I can't believe it is a serious discussion. If there is a game where everyone wins, how is it even a game (especially examining the history of games).

 

The presence of win states is not necessary for a game. Explain otherwise how one can "win" in games like "Privacy" or a statistically fair (i.e. reasonably long) session of "Truth or dare".

Edited by Dr. Penguin
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I remember with Bomberman on PS1, if you died, you can throw a bomb from the side of the arena to players that are still alive.

Such things make a game realy good.

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I think people should be encouraged to try new things.

 

I don't think people should be told that they're the "best" just to make them feel better.

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Ermm....I don't know how to reply to that because you seem to be arguing a different type of reward than the article or I was talking about. My reply was commenting the article Tutorial Doctor posted ( http://prosportschick.com/editorials/the-everybody-wins-culture-in-america-how-we-are-creating-a-generation-of-losers/492/ ) and to Shippou's comment of:

 

I simply pointed out that rewarding things for hard work is a natural not artificial behavior.  Regardless of the outcome whether the kids ended up for the better/worse, they should always be rewarded for a good work.  Not rewarding them for good work would be the unnatural thing to do.  Al Capone, the example you pointed out, is a unique isolated incident, and should not be used to justify the entire rewarding system.  Al Capone would probably still ended up a criminal if they hadn't rewarded him.  If the entire family became criminals, I am sure that's not just because their parents rewarding them.  I don't think rewarding is the primary cause to that: family conflicts, issues, friends, social dynamics, politics, jealousy, all comes into play.

 

Should we reward those who aren't doing a good job?  I don't think so because we need to make the distinction - we need to make the reward feel special, hence the inherent definition of the word reward itself.  If everybody gets rewarded, then no one is actually rewarded.  If everyone is a winner, nobody is a winner, as the article pointed out.

 

We should not castracize those who aren't doing good jobs either.  Failing them out of class is the wrong thing to do.  Social shaming for getting Fs is the wrong thing to do.  Telling them they are 'stupid' is the wrong thing to do.  But rewarding them just as much as how you would reward those who have put up the good work is also the wrong thing to do.

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I used Al Capone because he was the most famous, but a lot of well known criminals were brought up similarly.


I don't think rewarding is the primary cause to that: family conflicts, issues, friends, social dynamics, politics, jealousy, all comes into play.

That was my point. I started that by saying:

 

 

Sure, we mold their minds some, but in the end it is their outlook that determines it. Look at Al Capone, his parents were religious and from what I have read were role model parents. His parents, from historical accounts, only awarded their kids for their achievements, but Al Capone and the rest of his brothers (can't recall how many he had) all became criminals.

The reason people award everyone isn't because they are scared of hurting their egos or feelings. It is to try and promote equality and good sportsmanship. If you are rewarding only the good players in kid teams then you run the risk of driving a wedge in the teams or the good ones getting a big ego and treating the team mates bad for not getting rewarded. You already have enough issues with kids bullying and division in schools due to how they think their status ranks them. Sports should promote unity and not more division based on how good or bad a kid is to the next one.

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The reason people award everyone isn't because they are scared of hurting their egos or feelings. It is to try and promote equality and good sportsmanship. If you are rewarding only the good players in kid teams then you run the risk of driving a wedge in the teams or the good ones getting a big ego and treating the team mates bad for not getting rewarded. You already have enough issues with kids bullying and division in schools due to how they think their status ranks them. Sports should promote unity and not more division based on how good or bad a kid is to the next one.

 

Depends on the sport.

 

Some sports are not about competition, but improving your own ability. Surfing, snowboarding or scuba for instance. You can have competitions in them, but most people wouldn't say that was the primary point of them.

 

On the other hand, football, basketball, rugby, athletics, swimming, etc.... these are all about competition. They're not about promoting unity, they are literally about ranking individuals or teams based on performance. 

 

There's room for both in the world. 

 

Frob already made the most important point. If you want kids to succeed, reward effort, not outcome. 

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Some sports are not about competition, but improving your own ability. Surfing, snowboarding or scuba for instance. You can have competitions in them, but most people wouldn't say that was the primary point of them.
 
On the other hand, football, basketball, rugby, athletics, swimming, etc.... these are all about competition. They're not about promoting unity, they are literally about ranking individuals or teams based on performance. 

Let's be clear we are talking sports from elementary to high school and not professional sports (as was the focus of the article from the original post). School sports are held to a different standard than professional and do promote unity. I was basically paraphrasing why my hometown schools stopped doing trophies for sports achievements of individual players because the coaches were seeing the teams become volatile toward each other (the ones that were good were treating the lesser players like total crap). I would assume this is why others have gone to this everyone wins attitude in order to try and curb that sort of tension (which can lead to bullying). That leads me to my other assumption, so many kids have committed suicide due to being bullied and not knowing how to handle it or where to go for help that I wonder if that also didn't play a role in sports for schools adopting the 'everyone wins' attitude.

Edited by BHXSpecter
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