Winning and Losing Streaks

I’m a player of League of Legends. It’s an online game where a group of five players try to beat the other team.

Currently, I don’t have a clan so I get to play with random players selected by the game’s matchmaking system.

But I’m not going to talk about that’s game mechanics or my opinions about it. I’m here to talk about winning and losing streaks.

We can explain how winning and losing streaks happen in various ways:

  1. Psychological advantage/disadvantage
    They say nothing succeeds like success, which essentially means that winners have a psychological edge over others who have less or no experience on winning.

    A player’s psychology is important because our thoughts determines our actions, and our actions lead to the results we get. Results that can be positive or not.

    We can take advantage of this principle by winning at small tings first before we tackle more difficult challenges. In that way we can build our winning psyche.

  2. Actual material or resource advantage/disadvantage
    There’s this concept known as snowballing where advantages are built on top of another. Think of a snowball that gets bigger as it rolls on the ground.

    That’s the reason why it’s easier for entrepreneurs that have money to make more money. Money can be used to buy resources that’s necessary in starting and keeping a business going.

    Knowing this, we have to keep in mind that small things matter because they eventually lead to big results.

  3. Crowd/peer support or putdowns
    This is somewhat related to no. 1,  but the former is all about how we view our self. What I’m going to talk about here is how other people view us.

    Psychology has a concept known as the Pygmalion effect. Basically it states that expectations of other people affect how one person performs.

    Just think who is more likely to win, a team that is cheered upon by the crowd or a team that receives only ‘boos.’

    So, if we want to increase our chances of winning better find a supportive crowd, or if you have no choice but to deal with an unsupportive one — just ignore them. 

  4. Winners feel better physically, which leads to better performance
    Can you remember a time when you won? How did you feel? Aren’t you full of energy and vigor?

    Losers on the other hand feel weaker, even though they haven’t really exerted themselves.

    Of course, we can condition ourselves physically that we can continue to go on even after disappointments and setbacks, but let’s face it, we’re doing it to win. That feeling of winning is so pleasurable, the reason why we endure hardships. 

  5. The other person/team is simply better
    In competition we like to think that we’re the best and we can defeat anyone who competes with us, but the reality is that there are people who are more experienced and skillful than us. The reason they are more likely to win.

    In those circumstances, let’s put on a good fight, try to learn as much as possible, and who knows we might actually win. Ever heard of upsets in sports?

    And, yes, we must become better. So next time we’ll be the one with the definite advantage.

The possible explanations above are my own. There might be a lot more to winning and losing streaks than we currently know.

Sometimes, there simply seems to be a kind of cycle or rhythm on things. It’s like an invisible force, a force that once we know, we can control it to our advantage.

But until then, let’s keep on playing.  🙂

3 Ideas for a Book-Game — What!?

Image from Flickr by Cory Doctorow

I like reading books — and playing video games too. I was thinking… What if we combine books and games into a single medium? Obviously, the book will be in digital form (ebook). And, what would it be called? A “Game-book”, maybe a “Book-game” as the title suggests, or how about “Interactive Literary Entertainment”.

Regardless of what this new media will be called — I have conceived some ideas on how it may be implemented. I’ve got to tell you that I’ve written this post without doing research on the net first — so the ideas I may come-up with — might be already implemented (or not).

Here are my ideas (in random order):

  1. Finish a level to unlock a page (or chapter) of the book.

    A game level is completed once a player accomplishes some goal — like reaching a finish line, collecting necessary items, or defeating an opponent, etc.

    What if the book is hidden in the game, and can only be unlocked — piece by piece by completing each level. Of course, once the game is completed — the whole book is already readable.

    A disadvantage of this idea is that the reader’s (or gamer’s) reading is slowed down because she has to complete another level in able to read the next page (or chapter). Though, a workaround is to complete the whole game first before reading the hidden book.

  2. A quest to find the missing pieces of the book.

    A game genre that would really fit with this idea are role playing games (RPG). RPGs are game where you control a hero, who may have companions or none, then you travel across lands, defeating enemies and collecting items (e.g., gold, weapons, armor, etc.) along the way.

    Aside from commons items, the hero will be collecting the pieces of the book as well. Optionally, the contents of the collected pieces may provide hints and clues to get further in the game.

    I actually recall playing RPGs in the past where you collect missing pieces of a manuscript, but sometimes they are just unreadable items, and are far from a complete book in length — spanning less than ten pages or so.

  3. Books inside a virtual world.

    In this type of game, the books are available in their complete form, unlike above. There are freely available books, and there are books that are either well hidden or can be obtained for a price, using money (or gold) obtained in the game to buy it.

    This can be implemented in an online world with multiple players — and some of those players can be authors. Authors that can make money by selling their books in that world. Whether the game money can be translated into real world money depends on the game system.

There you have it. While I was writing this post, I recall what some people say — that the reason kids these days don’t read books anymore is because they play too much video games. If that’s the case, then why not combine the two?

But let’s be realistic for a moment. If a person is only there to play the game, even if he unlocks the book (or assembles them), hey may not even bother reading it — on to next game.

You can’t really force people to do what they don’t want to do in the first place — unless you use force, which is not right and can induce resentment. How about rewards? Rewards can work — but often becomes ineffective after a while.

What can be done then? We could reinvent the game (or book) — the ideas above are my contribution to that cause. How about you? What are your ideas for combining the two (book and game)?