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Old 15th Oct 2003, 07:46 PM   #1
TWD
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Videogames and the right side of the brain?

As many of you know our brain is divided into two hemispheres. The left side of our brain is the logical lingustic side of the brain while the left is the visual creative side. Most people have a more dominant left side, due to a skewed school system. This is why many people can't draw. They don't know how to use their right brain therefore the left side of the brain with it's symbols comes along and you end up with stick figures. It has been shown that by doing special drawing exercises that the left brain cannot or will not do (like draw a picture upsideown) that adults can go from a terrible drawing level to an expert level. This is the method lined out in the book "drawing on the right side of the brain". Not only can this book get you drawing at an expert level within a matter of days, it can totally change the way you think. Having only read half the book I have definatly noticed a difference in my drawing, and I am even starting to see differences in all areas of my thoughts. So this brings us to the question how does this relate to videogaming.

My theory is that videogames is a primarily right brained task. As already stated the right side of the brain is the visual side of the brain. Videogames especally FPS games are mostly composed of interpreting visual informaton and cordinating this with your hand. With this in mind many things suddenly make sense. For instance have you ever noticed that it is very hard to talk and play a game at the same time? If I am right I see many implications.

Playing music during your game particularly music such as classical or trance should give a very noticable improvement in gameplay. Music tends to bring out the right brain more. I would believe that music without words should work better because the words bring out the verbal left side of your brain.

TTM does not help people play better because they can see their opponents better but because it helps bring out the right side of your brain more.

However the most important implication I think relates to the book "drawing on the right side of the brain". This book has shown drastic results in teaching people how to draw. Similarly many people show an inability to play games. Particularly older people. They never learned the skills required to play the games when they were younger. This is why I believe few of the older people picked up videogames and even fewer females have played (because females tend to be more right brained). Such a book could take such a person from somebody that won't touch a videogame to complete hardcore gamer by teaching them to use the right side of their brain.

Is it possible to drastically increase a player's skill level in a matter of weeks or even days? If so then I think this is definantly an endeavor worth pursing. However right now it's just a theory and I don't have any sources and evidence to prove many of the assumptions I made above. Research would need to be done and even a few experiments to show it's application to gaming. Further more creating a program that would teach people to play games with their right brain would be extreemly difficult. What do you guys think?
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 07:51 PM   #2
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I'd like to see this book.
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 07:59 PM   #3
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Goto Barnes and Noble it's less than $20
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 07:59 PM   #4
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I lost you on the second sentance where you stated that the brain is divided into 2 hemispheres, the left side and the left side.
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 08:03 PM   #5
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I want that book as well.
The one about drawing.
I want to draw.
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
With this in mind many things suddenly make sense. For instance have you ever noticed that it is very hard to talk and play a game at the same time? If I am right I see many implications.
I've never had difficulty talking to someone, playing UT, and talking on IRC (IRC during respawns)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
Playing music during your game particularly music such as classical or trance should give a very noticable improvement in gameplay. Music tends to bring out the right brain more. I would believe that music without words should work better because the words bring out the verbal left side of your brain.
My game is better when I listen to music I know. Music with lyrics. It's not much different if I play classical music I like. Besides, you say non-lyrical music makes people play better (well, infer so); were that the case, then people would have no reason to turn off the music in order to hear their opponents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
TTM does not help people play better because they can see their opponents better but because it helps bring out the right side of your brain more.
If the right side is the visual side of the brain, seeing someone would trigger that side. If gaming is controlled by the right side of the brain, then having it triggered would help one's game. Therefore, TTM does help people play better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
Similarly many people show an inability to play games. Particularly older people. They never learned the skills required to play the games when they were younger. This is why I believe few of the older people picked up videogames and even fewer females have played (because females tend to be more right brained).
If females are right-brained more often than not, and if videogames are mostly right brained, then if they are right brained, they would, by extention, enjoy and seek video games, as it would stimulate the parts of the brain they use most often. I think you may have either fscked up a point, or just made a major typo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
Such a book could take such a person from somebody that won't touch a videogame to complete hardcore gamer by teaching them to use the right side of their brain.
A hardcore player doesn't have to have leet skills. A hardcore gamer is merely someone who plays games quite often. Following through, a hardcore gamer is spawned from the want to play video games, not the ability to play.
For instance, I can play chess reasonably well. But that doesn't make me a hardcore chess player.

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Is it possible to drastically increase a player's skill level in a matter of weeks or even days?
Yes. Practice. Training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
If so then I think this is definantly an endeavor worth pursing.
Why?

However, while the right side of the brain is the artistic and visual side, ask yourself another question, if you will: when you're playing a game, how much logic do you use? For instance, if you're at long range, logic dictates that you'd use an instant hit weapon, like a sniper rifle, or a weapon designed for long range fighting, possibly a rocket launcher. While the right side is visual, it's also abstract. Wouldn't it be fabulous to see you mowing down someone with a flak cannon from the other side of the map? Of course. Logical? Hardly. Probable? No.

Logic is at least as important as artistic ability. Just look at RPGs. Sure, graphics are a huge selling point (which apply to the right hemisphere), but the gameplay mechanics keep people playing, and mechanics are logical.

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Old 15th Oct 2003, 08:07 PM   #7
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 08:55 PM   #8
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If you can talk and play the game at the same time then maybe you are using the left side of your brain to play. I think your left brain can play the game but you'll do better if your right brain takes over. Music can only help you get into right brain mode it does not garuntuee that you will. I don't think either of these two instances really proves my theory wrong.

Comment about females was a typo. Girls tend to be more left brained.

I do not buy your use of logic argument. I know that when I play it is not logic at all. It is more making leaps of insight based off imcomplete patters feelings or visual images. When you totally outsmart somebody and feel good about it did you take the time to think it out step by step or did it all the sudden just hit you? Plus gaming is a task that probably involves some use of the left brain but I think it is a predominantly right brained task.

One more thing I didn't mention is that many people tend to loose track of time when they are doing well in a game. This is a sign of you using your right brain because it is the left side of the brain that keeps track of things. I have found this to be extreemly ture to me. When I am doing well I experience all the symptoms of "r-mode"
1. when I play I stop thinking about symbols and I simply see things as they are.
2. when I am doing well I loose complete track of time.
3. when I am playing well I find it very hard to talk to somebody.
4. I become very interested in simple little things while I am doing well.
These are all signs described in the book that I talked about. As I study myself when I play more and more it reafirms my belief that the difference between an on and off day times when you do great and times you do terrible is the use of your right creative brain.

I think the only real way to prove or disprove this theory is for us to have a large number of people read the book and then have them apply it to their fps skills and see if they can tell a difference. The idea of R-mode is something that really has to be experienced. I challenge you to read the book and then apply to gaming and come back with your thoughts on it. If anything by going through the exercises in the book and drawing pictures of real life objects on your own you'll be able to draw, and trust me it feels great once you figure it out.
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Old 15th Oct 2003, 09:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
If you can talk and play the game at the same time then maybe you are using the left side of your brain to play. I think your left brain can play the game but you'll do better if your right brain takes over. Music can only help you get into right brain mode it does not garuntuee that you will. I don't think either of these two instances really proves my theory wrong.
You said that gaming is more oriented to the right side, so if I use the left side to play, it's self defeating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
Comment about females was a typo. Girls tend to be more left brained.
Ah. I thought so.

Quote:
I do not buy your use of logic argument. I know that when I play it is not logic at all. It is more making leaps of insight based off imcomplete patters feelings or visual images. When you totally outsmart somebody and feel good about it did you take the time to think it out step by step or did it all the sudden just hit you? Plus gaming is a task that probably involves some use of the left brain but I think it is a predominantly right brained task.
Did you forget that patterns are logical? If you watch someone's behavior, you'll notice a pattern, and then you'll be able to predict what they would do next; it's the same thing meterologists do, only they have quite a bit more to look at. However, you can never be 100% sure with your predictions, and after gaming for as long as I have, anyway, they come so fast it could be considered premonition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
One more thing I didn't mention is that many people tend to loose track of time when they are doing well in a game. This is a sign of you using your right brain because it is the left side of the brain that keeps track of things. I have found this to be extreemly ture to me. When I am doing well I experience all the symptoms of "r-mode"
Just because you lose track of time doesn't mean you're thinking with the right side of your brain. Maybe, like me, you just don't care.

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Originally Posted by TWD
4. I become very interested in simple little things while I am doing well.
Simple little things (if they are things that players do, or directly relate to them), are critical in finding patterns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
These are all signs described in the book that I talked about. As I study myself when I play more and more it reafirms my belief that the difference between an on and off day times when you do great and times you do terrible is the use of your right creative brain.

I think the only real way to prove or disprove this theory is for us to have a large number of people read the book and then have them apply it to their fps skills and see if they can tell a difference. The idea of R-mode is something that really has to be experienced. I challenge you to read the book and then apply to gaming and come back with your thoughts on it. If anything by going through the exercises in the book and drawing pictures of real life objects on your own you'll be able to draw, and trust me it feels great once you figure it out.
As I've stated, it's entirely possible to do most things you've said in a very logical manner. However, they're sometimes also possible in a very abstract manner, which you've rather shown.

There are always multiple ways to go about something, and perhaps this is no exception. For instance, just for the sake of metaphor, one can generate electricity through hydroelectric means, or one can through windmills. While both are limitless, hydroelectric means is faster, and takes less 'generators', if you will, while windmills are needed in multitudes. While both have the same purpose and result, they have nearly the same workings, only completely different sources.

Thus, hydroelectricity could be compared to the right side, as it's one thing, and it comes through in a multitude through a relatively single outlet; wind power could be compared to logic, as it takes several little things in order to gain the same level of power as the other power source, and requires quite a bit more learning in order to make it quite efficent.

Perhaps, right-brained players are viewed more as 'talented,' while left brained players of the same ability are viewed as 'skillful.' Perhaps it's vice versa.
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 04:18 AM   #10
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I once tried to teach my mom how to play Deus Ex, and it was a complete disaster. She could barely get the mouse to make her look in the right direction. On the other hand, a friend sat me down in front of his computer and opened Starcraft one time, and I felt like I was scrambling around the map just to keep up with my own forces.

Anyway, I'm of the opinion that being good at a particular video game generally requires some type of coordination between the two hemispheres of the brain (the proper balance of coordination determined by the game itself).

For example, Quake 3 is a decisively right-brained game. UT is mostly right-brained, but not as much as Quake 3. Menu-based RPG's, like Final Fantasy and Baldur's Gate series games, are decisively left-brained games, as they require marginal real-time skill (but still require some ability to think quickly or improvise if something goes wrong). I believe that Undying is simultaneously left- and right-brained, as it requires the ability to wage "intelligent combat". On the other hand, Deus Ex requires left- and right-brained skills to be used separate from each other (left to make character and plot decisions, and stay focused while hacking; right to take bold actions, engage in combat, and stay focused while sneaking around).
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 06:50 AM   #11
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I know of two cases where someone was talking on the phone and beat the crap out of me.

1) Played a match with IB_Bangin, he was on the phone with STALLOWN and IB went Godlike.

2) Interferance/Rage (a guy I work with) drove me into the negatives once while he was answering circuit board questions to a client on the phone. I usually beat him really badly.
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 08:16 AM   #12
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US Army's experiments with videogames as training shown that most individuals will reach "hardcore" level in ten days of intensive training.
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 10:44 AM   #13
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THis would explain why I zone out while playing like I would during meditation.
I've always equated the feelings, and it's a great feeling, a feeling of enlightenment, you just 'know', you just 'are'...
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanover_Fist
I know of two cases where someone was talking on the phone and beat the crap out of me.

1) Played a match with IB_Bangin, he was on the phone with STALLOWN and IB went Godlike.

2) Interferance/Rage (a guy I work with) drove me into the negatives once while he was answering circuit board questions to a client on the phone. I usually beat him really badly.
I know that when your playing and you try to talk it's really hard for you. You keep stuttering and stopping mid sentence. I think we're all like that when we get into a real conversaton in ts.

If I'm right and such a program was devised I'm sure the results would be drastic. The writer of the book I mentioned will have 5 day seminars with companies to help them learn right brained thinking. By spending 6 hr a day for 5 days they will see extreemly drastic results. I think if there was one for videogames we would see simlar results. Someone with no videogame skills at all could get to a clan level of play in a matter of days.
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 08:44 PM   #15
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TWD: back up for a moment and look at the evidence presented for and against your theory instead of blindly rushing into what you believe is right.

[ed]Not trying to be a meanie or anything, just saying that you should look at some counterclaims before you become too shutminded.
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 08:59 PM   #16
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I play piano...this helps with this
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 09:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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TWD: back up for a moment and look at the evidence presented for and against your theory instead of blindly rushing into what you believe is right.
Sorry but I do not believe you have presented me anything that disproves anything. I do not think you fully understand the differences in right brained thinking, and you have no clue what r-mode is like. For instance when you are in regular right brained thinking you have a concept of time wether you care or not. The only way you loose track is if you get into r-mode. Also the right brain thinking does involve logic but it is a different kind of logic that is better for playing fps games. Plus as I've stated I think that games need co-operation between the two sides but I think the difference between a good player and a decent player is how well you can use your right brain. Simply because one uses a little bit of logic in a game doesn't mean that my theory is destroyed. I really don't think anybody can effectivly argue either way untill they know what r-mode is. That's why I made this thread hoping that a few others would have already read that book or decide to read the book or some other way know what I'm talking about enough to make a good argument for or against.

It's kinda hard for me to find hard evidence because such things aren't really posted on the internet. I'll have to find a library book or look up something in some peer review journal. Here's the best thing I found so far by gsi http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache...rt=8&ie=UTF-8: "Probably the biggest reason gaming is male dominated is the fact that most males are right brain thinkers. Right brain thinkers have good hand-eye coordination and spatial sense. Does this not sound ideal for games? Females, generally, are left brain thinkers; they are good at solving problems with logic and are good with numbers. These skills, although highly useful in other activities, don't help with gaming."
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 09:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
Sorry but I do not believe you have presented me anything that disproves anything. I do not think you fully understand the differences in right brained thinking, and you have no clue what r-mode is like. For instance when you are in regular right brained thinking you have a concept of time wether you care or not. The only way you loose track is if you get into r-mode. Also the right brain thinking does involve logic but it is a different kind of logic that is better for playing fps games. Plus as I've stated I think that games need co-operation between the two sides but I think the difference between a good player and a decent player is how well you can use your right brain. Simply because one uses a little bit of logic in a game doesn't mean that my theory is destroyed. I really don't think anybody can effectivly argue either way untill they know what r-mode is. That's why I made this thread hoping that a few others would have already read that book or decide to read the book or some other way know what I'm talking about enough to make a good argument for or against.

It's kinda hard for me to find hard evidence because such things aren't really posted on the internet. I'll have to find a library book or look up something in some peer review journal. Here's the best thing I found so far by gsi http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache...rt=8&ie=UTF-8: "Probably the biggest reason gaming is male dominated is the fact that most males are right brain thinkers. Right brain thinkers have good hand-eye coordination and spatial sense. Does this not sound ideal for games? Females, generally, are left brain thinkers; they are good at solving problems with logic and are good with numbers. These skills, although highly useful in other activities, don't help with gaming."
That doesn't explain why (as far as I know) all major mathimeticians are men...
Besides, I was also pointing out the examples of people doing better when they speak. I also said that it was most likely due to the two working together, and I think that the only difference between a great left-brainer and a great-right brainer is the fact the left one has to be more finely focused and more practiced. Playing styles are different, as well, if you'll notice.
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 10:02 PM   #19
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Heh, I just started reading that book myself. Bought it a while ago, but haven't gotten to it til now. I used to be okay at drawing when I was a kid from what my mom says (but then again, it is a parent so they are biased ), but I never stayed in practice so I totally suck now. I'm pretty good at FPS games though... I find myself doing well in games that I've never even played with just a little practice. I think it will be interesting to see where I can get, drawing wise, with this book, and to see how/if it affects me in other ways. I've always been pretty good with spacial thinking, probably because I've been mapping almost as long as I've been gaming (3 woots to Marathon's "Forge")

I think a lot of FPS skill definitely comes from good hand-eye coordination. But your comment about talking while playing... I think that's a learned skill, and has a lot to do with dividing your focus. I can sorta talk while I play, but I often times realize I'm not really speaking right because I'm so focused on the game. But the same thing applies to me with piano playing. I've been playing piano for 14 years, and I >still< have troubles talking to people while I'm trying to play songs sometimes. But there are plenty of people who can talk, sing, etc while playing the piano. I think it's just learned. Although, singing while playing is probably different than talking while playing. I've never tried, I don't really like singing
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Old 16th Oct 2003, 10:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD
It's kinda hard for me to find hard evidence because such things aren't really posted on the internet. I'll have to find a library book or look up something in some peer review journal. Here's the best thing I found so far by gsi http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache...rt=8&ie=UTF-8:
That is not even close to evidence.
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