Have you ever stopped to consider what type of video gamer you are? You may assume that anyone who enjoys gaming approaches it from the same perspective, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are different types of gamers, and knowing what type you are can help you to become a better player.
The type of game player you are may also influence the genre you are most successful at playing. Although there are always exceptions, those who excel at first-person shooters such as Call of Duty may not fare so well in a massively multiplayer online game such as World of Warcraft. Some games are more cerebral and require deep thought and complex strategy, while others require quick reactions, reflexes and coordination. Knowing what type of gamer you are will also help you choose the right kind of games for you.
Lessons from poker
It can be hard to tell what is going through a gamer’s mind when they are playing. What is their strategy? What is their main objective? How does their game differ from mine? And this is where we can learn something from the game of poker. Although it appears to be a simpler game than some of the complex RPG titles that are making waves in 2019, there is great variation between every poker player’s game. And it is easier to identify these differences on the card table where poker strategy and thought processes are often laid bare by the decisions made during a poker game – whether it’s Texas Hold’em or 7 Card Stud.
The top players analyze their own games to gain objectivity about their level of ability and the type of player they are, so they can build on their strengths and improve their weaknesses. By doing this, they can improve their own games and learn to spot weaknesses in their opponents. Video gamers can use these types of strategies to achieve similar results.
One way of finding out what type of gamer you are is by carrying out an A to C game analysis. According to 888poker’s poker strategy magazine, this method was developed by Jared Tendler, a licensed therapist specializing in sport psychology. It requires poker players to break their game into four different levels: A-game, B-game, C-game and the zone. The zone represents the time when a player is “in the zone” or playing at their best, while the A-C games represent different levels of performance, with the C-game being the lowest. Although it was developed for poker, similar methods can also be used by video game players.
The analysis involves writing down the skills and habits you would expect to see at each level of play. First, in terms of mentality and second, in terms of tactical play. For example, when you are in the zone, you might expect to feel mentally calm and unaffected by highly demanding situations, while when you are at your C-game level, you might make poor decisions, do not think clearly and maybe try too hard.
On a tactical level, when you are in the zone, you might think several steps ahead during gameplay and make smart but not obvious decisions that get you closer to your objective, while at your C-game you might make basic and obvious moves that get you in trouble. Or you might complete tasks in the wrong order, thus making it harder to reach your objective.
If you can break the mental and tactical aspects of your gameplay into four levels, you will be able to analyze whether you played badly, made poor decisions, were having on off day or were just plain unlucky in the game. You can also identify those times when you did not play well but somehow got lucky.
Learning to lose
The upside of this is that when you can recognize the mistakes you made, regardless of the outcome, you can learn and move on without feeling frustrated about what transpired. This is all part of learning to be a great loser.
All great sportsmen and game players have to learn how to lose. Some people think being a great loser is a weakness; that somehow by accepting defeat, you will lose more often. But that is not the case. All players hate to lose, but the best have learned how to deal with it when it happens so they can carry on and come back stronger. Players who take defeat too hard can carry negative thoughts into their next game. If they perform badly again, they can start to fear to lose and get caught in a vicious circle. This is called “tilt” in poker lingo.
Every time you lose, there are lessons to be learned. You can waste time feeling frustrated, disappointed and angry or you can analyse what happened and try to avoid repeating those errors.
Applying analysis to game strategy
Using analysis techniques such as the poker-inspired one mentioned above can help you to identify your game style, your technical strengths and your mentality. This can be particularly useful for those who play games that require a large amount of strategy. This includes massively multiplayer online games, role-playing games and some first-person shooters.
Having a way to grade your own performance keeps you in control. Instead of wondering where you went wrong, you can complete the analysis and be clear on where to improve. This means you can keep focused and begin the next game with a plan on how to progress.
Understanding your state of mind
The mental side of the analysis will also allow you to know when your performance was purely related to your mood or state of mind. You may have been clear on the strategy and what was necessary but may not have been sharp enough to execute the plan. Sometimes, tiredness or stress caused by outside factors can have an impact on your gaming performance. If you can recognize this, you will feel less frustrated with your performance and can plan to play again when you are in a better frame of mind.
Whether you win, lose or fail to reach a milestone in a game, it is important to know your next step. This means putting in a little work away from the gaming environment.
If doing written analysis is not enough, you could even record your performances on video and watch them back. In a world where competitive gaming and esports are becoming more popular, these types of analysis are becoming commonplace as gamers seek to gain an edge over their rivals. This is no different from the traditional sporting world, where in-depth analysis covering a range of parameters can be vital to success. Taking tips from the worlds of poker and sport can help any gamer to improve their level.
So, what type of gamer are you? Hopefully, after carrying out your own analysis, you will have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses. You might discover you are a passive type who bides their time. Or you could be an aggressive gamer who tries to force things to happen. You should know whether you are usually decisive, impulsive, relaxed or anxious. And you should be able to take control of your tactical and mental approach to improve your results.