S2: E27 | Ninja Player Types And Street Fighter

Daniel A. Kaufmann, Ph.D
Dr. Gameology on Twitch & The Gaming Persona Podcast
Owner of Area of Effect Counseling

Ninjas prefer difficult challenges, but they also desire fast-paced decision making and competition. For them, video games are regarded as a testing ground for their abilities and intellect. In-game progression isn’t as important to ninjas as it is to most other player types. It is all about skill-based mastery, not in-game advancement. They’re quick and nimble, and they like games that let them put their reflexes to the test. Games such as Street Fighter and League of Legends are perfect for the ninja player type. This episode of The Gaming Persona features Dr. Gameology and Jenny reviewing what it was like playing Street Fighter V head-to-head for their new Patreon bonuses. They run down what it takes to be a serious contender and make a mark on a worldwide game community. Tune in!

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Ninja Player Types And Street Fighter

I am DrGameology on Twitch and other social apps. You can find the show at DrGameology.com. There’s a page where all the episodes and blog posts that go along with it can be found. You can also download us on Apple, Spotify, Google, or any app you enjoy listening to podcasts. Jenny, what are we talking about from the world of video games in this episode?

We are going to talk about the ninja player type.

Are you a ninja player type?

Absolutely not.

I’m not a ninja player type either, but there was a period of time in my life when I almost was. I’m going to fill in as the resident expert for this episode. In order to get the conversation from the beginning, second to the final second, and knock your HP bar down to zero, Jenny, we have to first go to The Ordinary World, where we share everyday life through our games. How are you in the world of gaming?

You can like a competitive game for different reasons. Click To Tweet

I played a teeny bit more It Takes Two. We beat the space baboon. We didn’t beat him, but we started that whole journey.

The mechanics of that fight are something else.

I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m excited because we did a lot of portal transport. I have anti-gravity boots, and my boyfriend can get big and small. It was pretty cool, but we didn’t play much because I had COVID. This was towards the end of my recovery time. That was fun. I also played some Final Fantasy finally and did my first NieR raid. It was so cool.

I was there. I was playing melee DPS.

We both were. I got my reaper to level 80 because it was 20,000 XP left. For those of you who don’t know, that sounds like a lot, but it is nothing.

EXP is not like dollars. You can get 2,000 EXP for doing anything.

I could have walked into a new area and gotten my level 80, which would have infuriated me. I did my first NieR raid. It was a lot less scary than I thought it was going to be. I have been intimidated by this set of raids since the beginning of time of me playing. I’m sure it will get a lot more complicated than this one was, but The Copied Factory wasn’t that bad. I only died twice. It was a lot of fun.

The NieR raids are known for the awesome glamours that they drop from the bosses. The outfits that dropped from this particular raid are so cute. There were two of the sets of 2B dropped at the end. I was about to roll for it, and my internet cut out and got disconnected. That was a good three minutes of panic. That’s when you logged out.

It was very late.

TGP 27 | Street Fighter
Street Fighter: The NieR raids are known for the awesome glamours that they drop from the bosses. The outfits that dropped from this particular raid are so cute.

 

I was able to log back. I had to get completely out of the game and then come back in. I got in, and I wanted to set, so I changed my reaper outfit. It looks so cool, and I’m so happy with it. I got excited about it. We did that, and then Daniel and I finished up a few Street Fighter matches in preparation for the show. We’ll talk about that later.

For everyone who needs a little bit of a deeper psychology connection to what Jenny is talking about with those outfits, we’re talking about player customization or avatar customization here. Glamours are the Final Fantasy word for costume design. You are able to make your character look fashionable while using the stats from good gear for battle, but maybe not as fun to look at.

In the case of the NieR raids, those were some of the best pieces of gear, both the looks and the stats behind them in the Shadowbringers expansion, which is the last expansion. In a new expansion, the stats are higher. Now those outfits are nice to look at because eventually, Jenny, you’re going to level up 6 or 7 more times, or even 10 more times to reach level 90. You won’t want the stats from the NieR outfits, but they still will be among the coolest-looking outfits in the game.

I’m excited to have reached this level. The week before I started playing the game, I looked online. I cannot remember the name of the website, but it’s a place where people upload screenshots of their outfits. It’s a catalog of these amazing screenshots of people’s characters in the game and the outfits they’ve created using the pieces that are already in the game. I remember looking at one particular dress, and it was beautiful. I was like, “I’m going to get that.” I am playing this game, so I can get that dress. I am at a point now where I can get that dress. I just need to level up a caster to level 80 and figure that whole thing out. I have my red mage, which is a caster.

You’ll only be able to wear that dress when you are playing a caster.

It is fine, but it has been a little baby personal goal for me since before I started playing the game. It feels cool to be so close to that goal.

That dress in particular that you’re talking about took me so many clears for the particular NieR raid that it drops from. I also was motivated to get that one. It was almost a reason to cry when I finally got it.

Who knows? Maybe I will. I probably won’t, but I’ll be so happy and excited. It will feel like a huge accomplishment. I can’t wait for that.

I also have some things that I’ve done in Final Fantasy XIV. I played my first set of PVP matches. It’s exciting for me because you get nearly a half bar of experience points. If you’re level 81 and complete a PVP match, you’ll be halfway to level 82. If you’re already halfway to level 82, you will level up by doing a 5 to 10-minute battle against 60 other players. The way the match works is it loads about 75 players into this arena. There are three teams based on the different orders of the main cities.

We enjoy games where there are challenges to meet, levels to reach, and quests to complete. Click To Tweet

There’s the Twin Adder, Flames, and the Storm people. You represent one at random, go across the map, try to hold the map, and get points. You get points also by defeating other players. If you’re in your home base after you die, you can switch classes. I can go into the matches as a samurai but then switch to the black mage, but because I entered as a samurai, the samurai will get the experience. It’s cool that we can do that because I have learned what my mentality needs to be an effective black mage in a PVP match.

You have to stand still so you can cast your big moves, like Flare or Fire IV. Standing still in a PVP match is risky business. If you look at all of your enemies and their health bars, you can decide who is about to die if I Fire IV them. My goal is not to take someone at full health down but to finish off people that are not doing perfectly fine. As a result, you get the results board for your team at the end of the match. There are kills, deaths, and assists.

What ends up happening for me when I’ve had a good match is I’ll have some kills and deaths, hopefully, more kills than deaths, ideally. The assist number will be 6 or 7 times more than the other two numbers if I’ve done a good job because I’m not trying to destroy someone primarily. I’m trying to destroy people who aren’t quite gone yet.

If it’s me, one-on-one against someone and I have to stand still, especially if I’m outnumbered, I’m done. That’s not what a black mage is there to do. I’m starting to figure out the mentality of what it would take to be a good ninja black mage if I had that player type. It is a cool feeling to destroy other players and know that they’re real players on the other side of their keyboard and mouse.

You asked me if I relate to this player type or if I consider myself this player type. I said, “Absolutely not.” However, when I play PVP, I don’t know what about it is so thrilling for me, but I love that feeling.

We should do PVP matches as a way to level up our classes because the first match of the day, as the leveling roulette, is a big EXP boost. You might as well do one every day if you have a class you’re trying to level up.

That sounds fun. I don’t know if I log in every day, but whenever I play.

For my ordinary world, I’ve been playing The Quarry on my stream. We’ve been dealing with some scary, nighttime, creepy crawlies trying to kill my teenagers. That’s a lot of fun. We’re about 5 or 6 hours away from the end of our streaming playthrough. Everyone that I can control is still alive. That’s good. I’m not promising at all to any of my viewers that it will be that way at the end of the story because I have done some things differently than I did with my family playthrough in my living room.

I’m a little bit worried about the way that set up the differences in the rooms when the climactic moments in the story happened later. I would have felt a lot safer if I knew what was going to happen, but I don’t because this is choose your own adventure. I could get torn to pieces for a reason I had not anticipated.

TGP 27 | Street Fighter
Street Fighter: It’s a place where people upload screenshots of their outfits. It’s a catalog of these amazing screenshots of people’s characters in the game and the outfits they’ve created using the pieces that are already in the game.

 

Let’s set out our Call to Adventure, where we get into our topic since we’re both alive and we both know that we think we know what we know. Jenny, we’re talking about the ninja player type for the time we have left. We want to use this segment to catch up on time because we had a lot to talk about in our ordinary world, which is fine. I want to ask you. What are some things you’ve done as a video game player that fit into the typical form of ninja gaming interest?

I’ve played PVP before. I played PVP mostly in Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’s where I have most of my experience in PVP. It was a lot of fun. I was never good at PVP. It’s not something that I excel in, but I enjoy it. Throughout my gaming career since I was a kid, one of the first games I played was Mortal Kombat on the Super Nintendo. I don’t remember exactly what system it was, but it’s the old version. I’ve played Street Fighter in arcades and consoles. Now, I’ve played Street Fighter on my computer. I can’t say that these games are my favorite types, but I have played a few different ones.

Another thing that’s interesting is I put out a little tease on social media about what we’d be talking about in this episode. Some people on Twitter interacted with me and had some great conversations about how PVP is not always combat-based. Sometimes it’s a race. Sometimes it’s an intellectual match between two living players. PVP happens in the construct of being a game or some challenge where there is a winner and a loser.

Sometimes you can be repetitive and do it again, and there are matches. Sometimes it’s a tournament. Sometimes it’s a long-term challenge where you’re tracking points like in a leaderboard-style competition. PVP is not always Call of Duty and shooting someone else dead. One kind of game that is PVP, but maybe people don’t think about it that way because you don’t hold a controller and don’t have gamer rage, is Words with Friends. Did you ever play a game like that, Jenny?

I played that when it was first popular. My mom still plays Words with Friends and has actual friends she’s met through the game playing.

That social connection is something I’m always interested in talking about. You inherited your PVP traits from your mom. A lot of people think that competitive means sports-based or something where you can get a trophy or a medal. Words with Friends is a video game that relies on vocabulary and creativity in that area to pull something together, even if it’s a word you don’t actually know, but it is PVP.

I wouldn’t have thought of that game.

When I think about you, there are two M games that come into my mind, Magic: The Gathering and Mario Kart.

Magic: The Gathering is one of my all-time favorite games ever.

There is a philosophy for how you move the control stick to make the special moves happen. Click To Tweet

It got onto the show, even though I’ve never played it. That’s all you.

It’s a competitive game. There’s a lot to that game, so I liked the game for different reasons. It would fall into this type. Maybe I am a ninja. I don’t know who I am.

I also have several games in my background that indicate there are signs of the ninja player type in me. There are signs probably of almost all the player types in me because of what I have become from my childhood that I got to have into the adult life that I happen to have. That’s a good message for everyone to take away. You’re not just one thing. You may primarily be one of these things, but you can also tap into some of the strengths and thought processes that exemplify many of them, if not all of them, from time to time.

That’s what I’m learning as we go through these and deep dive into all these different player types. I’m sure there is a dominant, and there’s probably a secondary type for me, but there are tertiary types that I relate to if I think about it hard enough.

That’s a good place for us to stretch our arms, get ready for more challenges, and head on the Road of Trials, where we face our challenges head-on and discover our strengths. Jenny, we have the ninja player type as our focus. That, according to the people who write about it, like Quantic Foundry, our good friends over there. They identify the words for this player type as a duo of speed and skill. We recorded some matches and some pre-show banter for Street Fighter V.

You commented on the speed of the matches. I want to get back into that idea so that it’s part of our show. You had never played Street Fighter V before. I haven’t played any Street Fighter five since 2018. I played a few matches and then decided not to buy the game. It is a brand-new game for both of us, but I’m curious for you as mostly a “newcomer” to Street Fighter. What did you feel about the flow of the matches and trying to defeat me?

It was super fast-paced. There are three different rounds if you take it there. For us, there were two rounds each time because I am not great at this game.

You beat me for the first time in a three-match. One of my wins was a three-match also. Give yourself credit, Jenny.

Thank you for reframing that for me. They’re super quick. For me, at least when I’m playing these matches, there is a lot of anxiety. There are lots of quick button pushing and combos that you need to figure out on the fly, react against what the other players are doing, and all that stuff. The reward/punishment is quick.

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Street Fighter: That’s a good message for everyone to take away. You’re not just one thing. You may primarily be one of these things, but you can also tap into some of the strengths and thought processes that exemplify many of them from time to time.

 

From start to finish, you either win or you don’t. It’s very fast-paced. I noticed that for me, I enjoy games where there are challenges for me to meet, levels for me to reach, and quests for me to complete. There are some of those things in this game, but it’s set up a lot differently. The gameplay is not something that I am drawn to.

Also, in terms of the combo system, I don’t know that you would say anything that we were doing would qualify as a combo. We were just doing 1 and 2-hit things that don’t string together very gracefully at all. I also pulled off super moves with Cammy and with Ryu. I had no idea how I did the Cammy one. It took a chunk out of your health bar, and it was so cool to look at, but I have no idea how that even happened.

There is a philosophy for how you move the control stick to make the special moves happen. These special moves can be projectiles or extremely athletic physical moves that you take out on your opponent that are more than the standard kicks, punches, and throws. If you know those joystick movements and buttons, you can try different combinations that tend to be something in Street Fighter. Many characters have a big move connected to those maneuvers. You can accomplish things without knowing them, but knowledge is power in these games, like when we talked about Mortal Kombat in our past episode there.

If you are enjoying this conversation, referring back to that episode may be a good use of time for our readers if you want to know even more about that game. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat share a parallel history in a lot of ways. There are some other games in the ninja category that we might have some fun feelings toward or at least some strong awareness of. There’s Super Smash Brothers and League of Legends. Have you ever played League of Legends?

I have not played it. I know people who have. It is an intense game. It requires a lot of focus and attention. The rage that people experience in that game is real.

I wonder since I have a high level of mindfulness and self-awareness, and I don’t like becoming that angry. I seriously doubt League of Legends would unlock that for me. It might just unlock the things that are inside you in general and give you permission to express them. If you react to wins and losses in a game that way, that severe intensity is a sign of how much it matters to you or maybe that you feel it is appropriate to react to those that way. Maybe it makes the game feel more alive to you instead of having restraint and calm. It means more if the emotion is more.

We have these bars from Quantic Foundry’s analysis of this player type and looking at what motivations are high. We have high competition and then challenge, excitement, and strategy. Those are the high ones. All these games require quick, deliberate decision-making in order to do well. There’s one more, PUBG. Isn’t PUBG just the original Fortnite, and Fortnite ripped off PUBG for their multiplayer mode, and then Fortnite became their multiplayer mode? Isn’t that the history of those games, the whole build your fortress, but shoot people in a funny cartoony way?

I have no idea.

What I am finding out is for our Patreon, we should do, “Let’s plays,” for League of Legends, Fortnite, and Smash Brothers. We need to check and get those into The Gaming Persona ecosystem. Not only are those good ninja game exemplars, they’re fun to watch other people do. If you’re not the person who wants to go and play things yourself, which that’s what I am, but some people want to watch. They don’t want to watch it played well necessarily. They want to watch it be played, and maybe it’s amusing to watch people play poorly.

Marvel vs. Capcom franchise matches the Street Fighter roster with the Marvel roster and other games from Capcom as well. Click To Tweet

Let’s go on The Ascent and elevate the topic. I have two research articles about Street Fighter to talk about. One is not a research article. It is a conference presentation from several years ago when Street Fighter IV was in its heyday. That is the Street Fighter that I played the most, so much that there are pieces of skin on my left thumb that had to regrow themselves. I’m a drummer. The fact that my calluses at that point in time in my life still got torn through tells you how much I was doing the half-circle movement on my control stick for the PlayStation controller.

I had to go and purchase a fight stick because you can’t stop playing. You have to avoid the injury. We have this conference presentation about the braggadocio of players that are involved in the Street Fighter forum. The whole article is about what things players do that draw ridicule from the player community or better players. This is very competitive. You need to play well. You’re being evaluated if you’re playing in a way that other people are watching. There’s even this character select screen in one of the figures for this presentation where they replaced all of the fighters with Ken to make fun of people who picked Ken.

There are taboos about you indicating your level of skill at the game, even at the character select screen. They are thinking very hard about how important this game is. For you, as an outsider looking at this from a mental health and psychology research perspective and talking about player types, what’s your reaction to these braggadocious demeanors? There are all kinds of nasty ways I could characterize the contest of proving how big your prowess is in a game. What do you think about all this?

It’s not an attractive demeanor to me, at least. It’s eye-rolly. I don’t know how educated that word is. I don’t want to speak badly about it because some people value how great they are at different games. The braggadocio, that particular word, and the people that display that behavior is not cool.

I want to talk about the player community for Street Fighter in a positive way. They have some great competitions all the time. The franchise has been well over many years. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it’s 2022. One of the moments about resilience, believing in yourself, and sticking with the plan that I use when I’m training academic types comes from an Evo moment. Evo is a fighting game tournament every year where all the biggest fighting games are brought in, and you have a tournament-style competition to name the champion in each of the main fighting games in the world.

I love watching Evo. It’s cool to see that video games can create this level of competition and perfection. You have players that are like perfect levels of good competing against each other for the title. It’s great to be able to see the players do that. When I was thinking about how I explain to these future counselors or other people who are learning from me about sticking with the plan and believing in yourself, I have this clip between Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara.

The player that is controlling Chun-Li does all of these perfect blocks. I’ve talked about this on the show before. It comes from fighting games. It comes from people that have practiced these games so much. It shows that the pursuit of perfection can come out in these skills. Even skills in video games come out in reaction times as a skill. Jenny, I don’t know if you remember the last time I brought up that video clip of Ken versus Chun-Li comeback moments. Do you remember us talking about that? It’s made it on the show before. It blows me away every time that someone can pull that off and do that.

I remember this clip before. It’s also so cool to see how excited everyone is. The energy in that room has been so incredible.

That’s what I was thinking about when I thought to bring it up again. The way the gaming community react, there is legitimate fandom and excitement to see and be a witness to that level of mastery. Evo gives hundreds of game players the opportunity to showcase that mastery or to see if they do possess inside them the mastery to show it off. There are other places in life where people can take a thing that some people don’t get and other people think is the best in the world. I’m not trying to make fun of anyone’s passion here.

TGP 27 | Street Fighter
Street Fighter: If you know those joystick movements and buttons, you can try different combinations that tend to be something in Street Fighter.

 

One thing I don’t know anything about, but I know there are whole communities around it, are car shows. You bring your car, and you want to show it off. You show what’s under the hood and what’s pretty or impressive about the car. I don’t get that, but the fact that that exists is great for people who want their car to be that expression of their ideal self. It’s recognizing that fighting game communities also have that as well when you look at activities that happen in competitions like Evo.

There’s this whole article about being up there for bragging rights and making fun of people who choose Ken. Ken did get owned in the video clip that we talked about. Maybe that’s part of it. Maybe there’s a history of good players not being able to get it done with Ken. I don’t know. We have another article to talk about, and this is from more recent times.

It’s about the sociohistorical overview of video game arcades and the Street Fighter community. In arcades, I don’t go to them anymore. I don’t know if games like Street Fighter exist at places like Dave & Buster’s or the modernized version of what arcades are. Do you remember ever playing Street Fighter in an arcade?

They do still exist in arcades nowadays. I went to an arcade a couple of times. These games are classics, so they still exist.

One of my favorites is the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise. I love those games. It matches the Street Fighter roster with the Marvel roster and other games from Capcom as well. Devil May Cry is from Capcom. Dante is one of my favorite characters. He started showing up back in Devil May Cry 3. These games are fun. They create the social atmosphere of what video games are.

There are other ways to be social in games, but the original way to be social in games that I remember comes from games like NBA Jam, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat, which are me versus another person. We’re spending our quarters to send people home broke. Do you remember the last time you played one of these games in an arcade on what characters you tend to pick?

This holds true in any game that I play. I usually pick female characters. I always picked Chun-Li. That was my ultimate favorite character. As a kid, it was cool to be able to be so powerful as a girl because that’s stereotypically not something that we see in a lot of media. It was outside of the norm and fun. Similarly, now, the video game culture is pretty male-dominated. It’s fun to be a part of that.

The way the characters are presented is a big part of the psychology of these games. One of my rationalizations to save my ego when I lost to you is that I was distracted by the character you picked. Some of these characters, although they are female and are powerful, and they give you the chance to be a strong female character that can kick butt, there are signs that these games are marketed and developed for a different audience.

I’m thinking about some of that Nick Yee conversation we had on the show and talking about the angry brick male character and the scantily clad attractive female characters. Their physical appearance doesn’t alter how powerful they are in the field of combat. It’s pretty obvious that there’s an agenda going on with who’s picking their outfits for the game. We have this in the journal article. This was published in Games and Culture a few years ago.

If you compare Mortal Kombat 10 with 11, there is a dramatic shift in the costume styles for the female combatants. Click To Tweet

The authors put a picture of R. Mika’s “not but covering” outfit in the journal article as figure two. This is from Skolnik and Conway. The article is titled Tusslers, Beatdowns, and Brothers: A Sociohistorical Overview of Video Game Arcades and the Street Fighter Community. If you’re looking at this game from a psychological perspective, although it has nothing to do with gameplay other than possibly, you could argue it is a gameplay because unlocking outfits and color schemes for that outfit is a reward for successful gameplay. It is a choice that R. Mika is not covering when she fights.

Chun-Li is probably a different example because she usually is covered up compared to Cammy, whose butt is never covered up. That’s an iconic part of her outfit, too, if you’re comparing the female characters that have been in the franchise the longest. I don’t know what to make of this. It’s interesting that the way that we look at gender equality at this point in time does not seem to have impacted the construction of fighting game characters all that much.

Mortal Kombat 11 did make a step in that direction. If you compare Mortal Kombat X with Mortal Kombat 11, there is a dramatic shift in the costume styles for the female combatants. Maybe with Street Fighter VI coming out soon, that is why we’re talking about this player type. I don’t know if you realize this, but Street Fighter VI got an announcement with some teaser trailer and match reveals.

There are videos out there of Ryu from Street Fighter VI and a couple of other fighters showing what the new scenery, character models, combat, and graphics look like for the upcoming sequel to Street Fighter V. Ryu’s character is not as young and clean cut. He’s got a beard going on. It’s interesting. There is a story going on, which we both frantically skip past.

I got frustrated because I connected a controller to my computer, so things are wonky for a bit. I couldn’t move past it, and I was like, “I don’t care about this. Can we move on? I need to figure out my settings.”

I was worried about you, to be honest. I was thinking, “She’s going to get so upset.” She’s going to say, “Screw this episode. I’m not going to have a session.” There is also a version two story. It’s interesting how I line up so nicely and have so many friends that line up nicely with the borrowed player type, and yet I don’t want to watch the story. I want to understand the story and analyze it. I want to play well like a ninja. Maybe I’m a borrowed ninja. The jury is out on exactly what I am. Maybe I’ve studied it so much that I can’t be categorized easily anymore. I’ll look at a style and be like, “I can’t do that. I have to make sure I’m a little bit of everything.”

We have a game style and genres that are typically male-dominated. We have competitiveness and gamer rage that could happen when people lose, and they were not hoping to lose. We have social communities that are built around the game. The summary of this player type is by being competitive in these games, you might even get some of your belongingness needs met or status.

Even if it’s not national or worldwide, you still could have that status in certain ways by going to your local arcade and owning the machine like a King of the Hill thing for all the hours that you happen to be there. That’s a good summary of the articles we found, our own experiences, and what it was like to play against each other. Let’s go in The Return, so both of us can get back to our daily lives and take our next step forward. Jenny, we played Street Fighter V and talked ninja player type. How are you feeling now?

I’m a little surprised at how, throughout this conversation, I feel a little more connected to the ninja player type. I never thought I would. There are different types of games that fall under this category that I react to differently. The fighter-type games, like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Smash Brothers, are not something that I excel at and not something that I would ever put time and energy into excelling. I do very much enjoy PVP, Magic: The Gathering, Mario Kart, and all these games where competition is important, and there’s fast-paced stuff going on because there is a little bit more community, at least when it comes to Magic.

TGP 27 | Street Fighter
Street Fighter: Many characters have a big move connected to those maneuvers. You can accomplish things without knowing them, but knowledge is power in these games.

 

One of my favorite parts about that game is that we can get together on a Friday night, order pizza, have drinks, and play Magic for a bunch of hours together. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses. I’m re-evaluating some things, as I always do when we have our conversations. I think I may need to retake the Quantic Foundry quiz and see where we fall. I would have a little bit more information.

Context is everything. If you’re thinking only about a certain game when you answer the question, you may forget all the other games you play and why you would enjoy them. You’re blocking out entire player types from factoring into your scores. These games, if you think about the list, things like Fortnite, PUBG, League of Legends, StarCraft, Street Fighter, and Super Smash Brothers, are all games that you play against other people. When you do well, that gives you status but also pushes you to do even better every time.

This might be harder for children, teenagers, young adults, and middle-aged adults as well to understand. It’s important to look at your time and decide where it is your mastery should lie. For people who aren’t playing these games, maybe it’s worth asking yourself, “Is it my job to determine what this person that matters to me is allowed to be good at?” The answer is somewhere in the middle, and both of those people can have good conversations still. A lot of times, the conversation I have is with a parent, or a non-game playing loved one who is heavily judging the amount of time the person they love is putting into a game like Street Fighter.

You have the game player saying, “I want to be good. Here’s my goal, and here’s why,” but all of that is like the teacher in Charlie Brown because the non-game player doesn’t see everything we talked about. They just see cartoony characters doing comic book things on a TV screen. They don’t have that recognition of the Chun-Li versus Ken moment as being an awe-inspiring feat of greatness. They see it as, “That’s so dumb that you play the game enough to be able to do that.” It’s that judgment against what a person is capable of.

If you’re playing 110 hours a week to be able to do that, and you’re doing that for 100 weeks straight, your age is plus two since you started that. It is important to look back and ask, “Have I gotten what I needed to get for myself? Am I only letting myself be that one thing and let everything else fall apart?” I’m talking about how games become a problem here a little bit. In order to be that masterful at a game like this, it takes a sacrifice. That sacrifice is your time, who you’re around during your time, how you structure your goals with your time, and how you choose to relax with your time as well.

You might be sacrificing you time and giving it to the game as well. I personally don’t want games to become that for anybody. If you’re playing the game well and are living your life well at the same time, that is a wonderful thing. Hopefully, the majority of people who have this ninja player type are capable of doing that and are pulling that off. It’s just a caveat that these games are the ones where you can get absorbed with your performance and the way you stack up in comparison to other players. It’s up to you to realize how important that is in the scope of the person you’re trying to become, even though you play games. My last quest for everyone to collect for the day is to fight on and continue the journey.

See you next episode.

 

Important Links

References

Kaufmann, D. (2022). A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO PLAYER TYPES IN VIDEO GAMES. Retrieved on 6/21/2022 from https://drgameology.com/a-beginners-guide-to-player-types-in-video-games/.

Quantic Foundry (2022). Gamer Motivation Profile. Retrieved on 6/21/2022 from https://apps.quanticfoundry.com/surveys/start/gamerprofile/.

Skolnik, M. R., & Conway, S. (2019). Tusslers, Beatdowns, and Brothers: A Sociohistorical Overview of Video Game Arcades and the Street Fighter Community. Games and Culture, 14(7-8), 742-762. https://doi.org/10.1177/1555412017727687

Su, N. M. (2010). Street Fighter IV: Braggadocio Off and On-line. CSCW 2010.

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