#1 Posted by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -

Heya Duders, long time reader first time poster. 
 
I'm on the verge of writing my university dissertation based around conditioning in video games (original right?). I have a fairly vast knowledge of games but my lecturer stumped me by saying "I can think of at least 2 video games that arguably have no conditioning"....is that even possible?...what the hell are they? Can anyone name them? Any help will be much appreciated. 

#2 Posted by Koshka (201 posts) -

@1Gorebash1: So he just said that without backing up what he meant by it?

#3 Posted by Atlas (2558 posts) -

Conditioning?

Like...air conditioning?

#4 Posted by Animasta (14820 posts) -

@Atlas said:

Conditioning?

Like...air conditioning?

In psychology, the process of performing some particular action(s) to directly influence an individual's learning; see education (in the broadest sense of the word)

I assume that's what he's talking about anyway

#5 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Koshka:  No not really, he's a bit funny like that. To be more specific I was talking to him about operant conditioning.
#6 Posted by Beforet (2989 posts) -

@Atlas said:

Conditioning?

Like...air conditioning?

Atlas makes a good point. What do you mean by conditioning? Define it for us and then, maybe, we can help.

#7 Posted by Koshka (201 posts) -

@1Gorebash1 said:

@Koshka: No not really, he's a bit funny like that. To be more specific I was talking to him about operant conditioning.

Ah, well now we're getting somewhere...

but isn't that, in a sense, a definition for videogames? Or am I missing something?

#8 Posted by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Beforet
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning 
 
And 
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning_chamber
#9 Edited by Atlas (2558 posts) -

I looked up Operant Conditioning. This guy is obviously a psychology student or something.

For us who have never and will never go to university, maybe he could have just said "learning" or "experience". Or maybe I should just take my ignorance and GTFO.

So what your professor is suggesting is that there have been video games that have provided no form of tutorial and/or instruction to help the player to learn the systems in play. Well, that kinda sounds like my experience with Dwarf Fortress. There are places where you can go to learn about how that game works, but the game itself just dumps you into it and says "go nuts".

#10 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Atlas
 
lol no, really technically I'm an art student that just so happens to have an interest in psychology.  
 What he meant by the question (or at least, I think what he meant...) was "I can think of 2 games that offer no sign to the player that they are doing well/doing poorly"....so in other words it has no scores, no lives or no real sign of progress. Even the most basic of games will go "well done!" once in a while in some form or another.
#11 Edited by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -
#12 Posted by Atlas (2558 posts) -

@1Gorebash1: Oh ok. I guess a game like Journey might fit into that category, as there is no real end point or clear goal to accomplish.

#13 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Dagbiker
 
Yeah my first thought was some form of online game but even then Second Life has it too and again that's one of the most "It is what you make of it games" off the top of my head.
#14 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1863 posts) -

@1Gorebash1 said:

"I can think of at least 2 video games that arguably have no conditioning"

That's the key right there. You can argue anything if you split enough hairs.

No game is without conditioning.

#15 Posted by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -

@1Gorebash1 said:

@Atlas: lol no, really technically I'm an art student that just so happens to have an interest in psychology. What he meant by the question (or at least, I think what he meant...) was "I can think of 2 games that offer no sign to the player that they are doing well/doing poorly"....so in other words it has no scores, no lives or no real sign of progress. Even the most basic of games will go "well done!" once in a while in some form or another.

then minecraft.

#16 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Dagbiker
 
"So someone online suggested " story hour adventures." has no conditioning...never heard of it? here watch this video" *plays my lecturer the quick look* 
 
But I like the angle of a game that tells a story and all the player does is hit the "next page" button...  
 

@SoldierG654342

said:

@1Gorebash1 said:

"I can think of at least 2 video games that arguably have no conditioning"

That's the key right there. You can argue anything if you split enough hairs.

No game is without conditioning.
 

Yeah that's a good point to make and pretty much how I felt to begin with.
 
@Dagbiker said:

@1Gorebash1 said:

@Atlas: lol no, really technically I'm an art student that just so happens to have an interest in psychology. What he meant by the question (or at least, I think what he meant...) was "I can think of 2 games that offer no sign to the player that they are doing well/doing poorly"....so in other words it has no scores, no lives or no real sign of progress. Even the most basic of games will go "well done!" once in a while in some form or another.

then minecraft.


I think certainly Minecraft is a good example, I only ever played it before it went online and only seen videos of it being played "properly"...other than "gaining new items from stuff you've collected" it's hard to pin down other forms of conditioning in it I believe
#17 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4550 posts) -
@1Gorebash1: You need to define conditioning to help folks out, since without a firm definition we could be sliding all over the place trying to nail down what we all think player conditioning is. I mean, I have a pretty good idea, but you could argue that ANYTHING conditions a user in order that it be used properly, if you want to get really meta about it.
#18 Posted by Herocide (447 posts) -

They wouldn't really be video games then, would they? Maybe some neat screensaver or iPod app, but not a video game.

#19 Posted by Evikull (61 posts) -

@Dagbiker:Well, Minecraft does have some sort of progression. At least modern minecraft does, what with achievements and that XP bar coming into play at some point.

I'm tempted to say LSD, if that's the kind of thing you mean.

#20 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -

@1Gorebash1:

Dark Souls doesn't really have reinforcements. It requires the player to find the process of overcoming a huge challenge as being a reinforcement. But, that in and of itself is not a reinforcement. But even in that game, you could argue that gaining loot, experience, or simply seeing the next area is a reinforcement. If you want to be really technical, I don't think a game exists that doesn't have some form of positive reinforcement.

I guess you could write about a game that has negative reinforcements. In that case, I think Dark Souls works. So would Dragon's Lair or any other game that relies on repetition. For example, if you die unexpectedly as you enter an area you are reinforced not to go back to that area. You could write about the masochism of gamers who, despite those negative reinforcements, keep going back for more. Hell, the whole Arcade industry was based on negative reinforcements.

#21 Edited by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

I need to know exactly what definition of conditioning you are using. I'm trying to think of one that would not apply to only a small number of games, but this would be much easier if you could give us something to work with.

EDIT: I just saw your post on this topic, missed it the first time through. I'm going to go take a shower and ponder the situation.

Online
#22 Posted by MrKlorox (11142 posts) -
@Dagbiker said:

@1Gorebash1 said:

@Atlas: lol no, really technically I'm an art student that just so happens to have an interest in psychology. What he meant by the question (or at least, I think what he meant...) was "I can think of 2 games that offer no sign to the player that they are doing well/doing poorly"....so in other words it has no scores, no lives or no real sign of progress. Even the most basic of games will go "well done!" once in a while in some form or another.

then minecraft.

Before the achievement system was implemented, I would have agreed completely. Now, not so much.
#23 Posted by Icemael (6795 posts) -
@1Gorebash1 said:
 I like the angle of a game that tells a story and all the player does is hit the "next page" button...
A "game" like that isn't a game. It's a digital book.
#24 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:

@1Gorebash1:

Dark Souls doesn't really have reinforcements. It requires the player to find the process of overcoming a huge challenge as being a reinforcement. But, that in and of itself is not a reinforcement. But even in that game, you could argue that gaining loot, experience, or simply seeing the next area is a reinforcement. If you want to be really technical, I don't think a game exists that doesn't have some form of positive reinforcement.

I guess you could write about a game that has negative reinforcements. In that case, I think Dark Souls works. So would Dragon's Lair or any other game that relies on repetition. For example, if you die unexpectedly as you enter an area you are reinforced not to go back to that area. You could write about the masochism of gamers who, despite those negative reinforcements, keep going back for more. Hell, the whole Arcade industry was based on negative reinforcements.

Dark Souls is an interesting modern case of negative reinforcements and one I went into depth about whilst talking to my lecture and one I think I'll be talking about again in the near future. 
 
@Evikull said:

@Dagbiker:Well, Minecraft does have some sort of progression. At least modern minecraft does, what with achievements and that XP bar coming into play at some point.

I'm tempted to say LSD, if that's the kind of thing you mean.


Ah so it has an XP bar? interesting...also yes LSD is a good example of something I couldn't put my finger on...games that are basically a crazy visual experience but are sold in the form of a game, cheers for that.
#25 Posted by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Icemael said:
@1Gorebash1 said:
 I like the angle of a game that tells a story and all the player does is hit the "next page" button...
A "game" like that isn't a game. It's a digital book.
 
The "counting the beans " bit springs to mind thinking about it which again can be argued to be a form of conditioning aka click all these things and you get the rest of the story.
 
Again a big thanks to everyone who's posted thus far...it's giving me lots to think about! 
#26 Posted by 9cupsoftea (676 posts) -

your lecturer is messing with you. That's like me saying 'I can think of three foods which evoke architecture'.

#27 Posted by Levius (1303 posts) -

What about the Football Manager games, the game never actually tells you what being a successful manager entails and relies on outside knowledge of football.

#28 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@9cupsoftea
 
He is one to mess people around, and I should type that when I quote him saying "I can think of at least 2 video games that arguably have no conditioning" what he really, really means is "I know these 2 games and "I" am willing to argue that they have no conditioning and if you think differently you are wrong"
 

@AmatureIdiot

said:

What about the Football Manager games, the game never actually tells you what being a successful manager entails and relies on outside knowledge of football.

I did suggest Sim games, for example Sim City but he said "ahh but you need to maintain the happiness of the people..." and I thought "but is that the point of the game?...I know plenty of people who will build a city for the soul purpose of destroying it, as with the first Sims...there are no real goals and granted it's possible to lead a rich full life in it, some (well...most) are happy to use it to punish their sims and make a game out of that. Is there any fun to be found by not playing Football Manager properly?.
#29 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

Ok, this is me just testing the waters to make sure that I understand what we are talking about. Would Tic-Tac-Toe count? You have no indication of whether or not your strategy is working until the game is over, so in theory a single game of TTT does not contain any conditioning.

Online
#30 Posted by redbliss (669 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@Atlas said:

Conditioning?

Like...air conditioning?

In psychology, the process of performing some particular action(s) to directly influence an individual's learning; see education (in the broadest sense of the word)

I assume that's what he's talking about anyway

Thank you wikipedia

#31 Posted by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -

the thing is all games have conditioning, if they don't they aren't games. when you die, and the pop up screen says game over its conditioning you not to do that because you lost. if you win it conditions you to do that because you win.

so the only type of games that would have no conditioning is a game with no feedback, no win conditions, and no lose conditions.

#32 Edited by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:

Ok, this is me just testing the waters to make sure that I understand what we are talking about. Would Tic-Tac-Toe count? You have no indication of whether or not your strategy is working until the game is over, so in theory a single game of TTT does not contain any conditioning.

Hmmm unless you play multiple games and keep track of scores that argument might float!....unless people get a real kick out of putting a line through all their 3 X's or O's
 
*makes the winning move and strikes through the 3 X's*...."mmm oooh yeah that's the good stuff"
#33 Posted by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

Ok, this is me just testing the waters to make sure that I understand what we are talking about. Would Tic-Tac-Toe count? You have no indication of whether or not your strategy is working until the game is over, so in theory a single game of TTT does not contain any conditioning.

the problem with tic tak toe is that you ether win or lose, conditioning you to not lose and win.

#34 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -

@nintendoeats:

Operant Conditioning basically breaks down to two things; positive and negative reinforcements and how those two, in part, dictate behavior.

A positive reinforcement is a reward that shows itself after a behavior takes place (so, if a kid mows his dad's lawn and he is paid $15 dollars afterward he was reinforced to mow the lawn again by the $15 reward).

A negative reinforcement is a punishment that shows itself after a behavior takes place (so, if a kid gets into a fight with his brother and is sent to his room without dinner he is reinforced not to fight his brother again due to the punishment of 'going to my room without dinner').

#35 Edited by Grumbel (1010 posts) -

Garrie's Mod, Universe Sandbox and stuff like Construo would be example I guess, i.e. physics sandboxes without goals, win conditions or ways to lose. Also a lot of level editors would fall into that category. Regular Minecraft definitly doesn't fall into that category, as that game is full of goals and ways to fail, Minecraft in that build-mode or however that is called probably would.  But you are of course kind of leaving the realm of games at that point, as most games have some kind of goals to give the player direction, even if they are rather open ended.
 
The most game like I can think of right now would probably be things like Facade, One Chance or Sleep is Death, those are kind of adventure games, but without puzzles, it's all story and very non-linear. The only bits of conditioning you have there is that they have an end and that might be different depending on what you do, but you'd have to play multiple times to find out.

#36 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

@Dagbiker: That is why I specified a SINGLE game, not multiple matches. Contrast that against any FPS. When you fire a bullet you get a clear indication about whether it has hurt an enemy or not. if you hit a vulnerable spot, there will be a visual indication like blood spatter or an animation. If you miss, your bullet will fly off and hit something else, which is another visual indication.

@JasonR86: I know this, but since his professor had two specific games in mind I wanted to know EXACTLY how the term was being used in this context. Thanks regardless.

Online
#37 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

@Kizzpald: Heavy Rain makes it very clear how the game is reacting to your button presses. If you are pressing the right or wrong button, the game lets you know immediately. Basically, the consequences of your actions are always clear.

Online
#38 Posted by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Dagbiker: That is why I specified a SINGLE game, not multiple matches. Contrast that against any FPS. When you fire a bullet you get a clear indication about whether it has hurt an enemy or not. if you hit a vulnerable spot, there will be a visual indication like blood spatter or an animation. If you miss, your bullet will fly off and hit something else, which is another visual indication.

@JasonR86: I know this, but since his professor had two specific games in mind I wanted to know EXACTLY how the term was being used in this context. Thanks regardless.

Right, but you can lose/win a single game of tic tak toe, and that will condition you.

#39 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

@nintendoeats said:

@Dagbiker: That is why I specified a SINGLE game, not multiple matches. Contrast that against any FPS. When you fire a bullet you get a clear indication about whether it has hurt an enemy or not. if you hit a vulnerable spot, there will be a visual indication like blood spatter or an animation. If you miss, your bullet will fly off and hit something else, which is another visual indication.

@JasonR86: I know this, but since his professor had two specific games in mind I wanted to know EXACTLY how the term was being used in this context. Thanks regardless.

Right, but you can lose/win a single game of tic tak toe, and that will condition you.

Again, over the course of ONE game. This is the key element.

Online
#40 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Dagbiker said:

@nintendoeats said:

@Dagbiker: That is why I specified a SINGLE game, not multiple matches. Contrast that against any FPS. When you fire a bullet you get a clear indication about whether it has hurt an enemy or not. if you hit a vulnerable spot, there will be a visual indication like blood spatter or an animation. If you miss, your bullet will fly off and hit something else, which is another visual indication.

@JasonR86: I know this, but since his professor had two specific games in mind I wanted to know EXACTLY how the term was being used in this context. Thanks regardless.

Right, but you can lose/win a single game of tic tak toe, and that will condition you

Again, over the course of ONE game. This is the key element.

But the results of the one game will cause the winner to be positively reinforced to play another game with the expectation that they will win again. Likewise, the loser will be negatively reinforced not to play again with the expectation that they'll lose.

The professor is just trying to get the students to think and lead to discussions. In the strictest terms, there is no game that has no form of conditioning, classical or operant (positive and negative reinforcements).

#41 Posted by BeachThunder (13093 posts) -

Hone@1Gorebash1 said:

@9cupsoftea
 
He is one to mess people around, and I should type that when I quote him saying "I can think of at least 2 video games that arguably have no conditioning" what he really, really means is "I know these 2 games and "I" am willing to argue that they have no conditioning and if you think differently you are wrong"
 

@AmatureIdiot

said:

What about the Football Manager games, the game never actually tells you what being a successful manager entails and relies on outside knowledge of football.

I did suggest Sim games, for example Sim City but he said "ahh but you need to maintain the happiness of the people..." and I thought "but is that the point of the game?...I know plenty of people who will build a city for the soul purpose of destroying it, as with the first Sims...there are no real goals and granted it's possible to lead a rich full life in it, some (well...most) are happy to use it to punish their sims and make a game out of that. Is there any fun to be found by not playing Football Manager properly?.
Honestly, it sounds like he's fucking with you, he just wants you to be wrong. Sim City is a great example; there is an overarching goal, but there's never really any progressive reinforcement.
 
Anyway, I recently played a game called Ruins. Also, One Chance.
#42 Posted by bybeach (5148 posts) -

There is a game named Bathos listed on the GB page that might fit under this terminology. Instructions are given, and theoretically an already learned logic system is initiated (lock + key) but it quickly becomes clear that this learned logic fails. The instructions themselves also seems of no value. There is learned association though, and if one thinks in abstraction enough, or has a good moment, it will occur. Still, there is existent conditioning being applied, if I understand this term right.

#43 Posted by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@BeachThunder
 
Cheers, again that's what I thought xD. I forgot about One Chance as well, thanks!.
#44 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

@JasonR86: If you restrict it to one play-through then a game could contain no conditioning, but I do take your point. This issue unfortunately comes back to the "what is a game?" problem. Is War a game? It contains no strategy, and therefore cannot condition you. If you call it a game then we have an example, but you could make arguments from either side.

Online
#45 Edited by Vodun (2393 posts) -
Loading Video...
The Objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas in real time, at a maximum speed of 45 MPH. This is a feat that would take 8 hours of continuous play, as the game cannot be paused. There are no passengers on the bus and there is very little scenery. The Bus veers to the right slightly, making it impossible for the player to tape down a button and finish the journey. If the bus goes off the road it stalls and is towed(also in real-time) back to the last city you left from. When you make it to Las Vegas you score exactly one point. Also, the game asks you if you wish to continue, but only gives you 2 seconds to answer before the game quits.
#46 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

@Vodun: Desert Bus has conditioning, it's just really boring.

Online
#47 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@JasonR86: If you restrict it to one play-through then a game could contain no conditioning, but I do take your point. This issue unfortunately comes back to the "what is a game?" problem. Is War a game? It contains no strategy, and therefore cannot condition you. If you call it a game then we have an example, but you could make arguments from either side.

The thing is is that reinforcements really don't have anything to do with strategy. I guess you could say Classical Conditioning has a little to do with strategy but that isn't the type of conditioning the OP was talking about. Regardless, Operant Conditioning is based solely on whether behavior 'a' will be repeated or discontinued because of reward/punishment 'x'. How the behavior works, it's details and the strategies involved are not the issue. The issue is the consequences to the behavior. When trying to find a game that meets what the professor wants, the question one should ask is 'what does the player get out of the gamem negatively or positively, and would the end result lead to that behavior being repeated?'.

#48 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@nintendoeats said:

@JasonR86: If you restrict it to one play-through then a game could contain no conditioning, but I do take your point. This issue unfortunately comes back to the "what is a game?" problem. Is War a game? It contains no strategy, and therefore cannot condition you. If you call it a game then we have an example, but you could make arguments from either side.

The thing is is that reinforcements really don't have anything to do with strategy. I guess you could say Classical Conditioning has a little to do with strategy but that isn't the type of conditioning the OP was talking about. Regardless, Operant Conditioning is based solely on whether behavior 'a' will be repeated or discontinued because of reward/punishment 'x'. How the behavior works, it's details and the strategies involved are not the issue. The issue is the consequences to the behavior. When trying to find a game that meets what the professor wants, the question one should ask is 'what does the player get out of the gamem negatively or positively, and would the end result lead to that behavior being repeated?'.

But if a player is playing a game (as opposed to using a video game as a toolbox for messing around) aren't all of their behaviors strategies? I mean, you could replace the word strategy with behavior in my previous statement and it would make just as much sense, but as a general rule when you do something in a game it is a strategy of completing the game's goal.

Online
#49 Posted by Vodun (2393 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Vodun: Desert Bus has conditioning, it's just really boring.

How? There is no sign of your progress, nothing to tell you what to do. The only slight reinforcement at play is that the bus stalls when it goes off the road, but the game doesn't per say punish you for this. You merely enter another part of the game, the "towing".

#50 Posted by 1Gorebash1 (77 posts) -
@Vodun said:
Loading Video...
The Objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas in real time, at a maximum speed of 45 MPH. This is a feat that would take 8 hours of continuous play, as the game cannot be paused. There are no passengers on the bus and there is very little scenery. The Bus veers to the right slightly, making it impossible for the player to tape down a button and finish the journey. If the bus goes off the road it stalls and is towed(also in real-time) back to the last city you left from. When you make it to Las Vegas you score exactly one point. Also, the game asks you if you wish to continue, but only gives you 2 seconds to answer before the game quits.

Oh god yeah, from the The Penn And Teller sega CD game if I'm not wrong....that'll be a great thing to mention to him!