It’s christmas! – On being a great teammate (and kicking asses by doing so)
It’s christmas. So, this time let’s do something different from my usual ramblings on money and resources. One of the big things about christmas is giving and sharing. So, let’s think about giving and sharing in computer games.
Again, let’s start from one of the major thoughts of this series: money/resources are worthless as such, it only represents the stuff you can buy for it (or goods and services, if we want to be a bit more “professional”). One of the things you can get are gifts for other players. Thinking about all these expensive “gifts” in MMO’s like Mafia Wars? Think again.
More interesting is the aspect of buying stuff they can actually use. Did you ever play any instalment of Counter-Strike series online? In that case you should be familiar with buying guns for other players, when you’ve got lots of money. For the rest, small explanation: in CS you earn money every round, in order to buy equipment – which is lost when you die. If you are good, you usually have lots, and there is 16 000$ cap anyway. If you die often, you can’t afford anything more, than a mere pistol and a couple of bullets. Therefore, good players (and good teamplayers) sometimes buy weapons for their teammates.
OK, but what do I get in return? Firstly, if your team is well-equipped, you have much better chances of winning the round – therefore earning more, and not losing your own expensive gear. Since in CS you have 16 000$ mentioned, you are not losing anyway, but you do get some extra safety. Plus, it’s more fun, unless you are “I like to keep losing and bitching about my team” type. Treat it as an investment.
Now, that we’ve got the overall team performance covered, it is important to consider your personal safety. A teammate with a good gun has a good chance of saving your butt. Plus, he is more likely to do so, since he ows you one. It’s like a second bulletproof vest (often for free).
Here comes the psychological aspect of the giving thing. In business, negotiators often give goodies in order to utilize the law of reciprocation. This is basic psychology – if you get something for free, you (conciously or subconciously) tend to return the favour (Hint: it is better received in Asian and East-European countries, than in the US/UK, and has NOTHING to do with bribes). This might mean, that he will cover your back, or give you a gun if you run out of luck. Plus, people usually like good teamplayers, so you are getting good PR as well (Public Relations for ones unfamiliar with terminology). Think of your game as of business – if you are not getting the idea just yet, keep reading the series - you will get it eventually.
Finally, I’ve addressed this article to CS players, but do not think the idea is limited! It is just a great example, and one that most players are familiar with. But it applies to all games, where teamplay is important. Also in online economics/strategy games, the psychological aspect is important as well. In strategy, would you rather attack the nice guy, or the asswhole? Yep, the psychology might give you the edge. Personally, I prefer to perform a planned and coordinated blitzkrieg, than suddenly having to defend.
Remember guys, it’s christmas! Give and share. It’s great time to start some training in this department. Keep doing that, become best of the best and have even more fun playing. Use that secret factor nobody else knows of. A little something can get you a LONG way.
Adam “Fanatyk” Wojciechowski
P.S. Merry christmas everybody! Please, share your own ideas and insight using our comments feature. It could be just a first little lesson of the “giving and sharing” part.