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Old 2014-06-15, 20:26   #34
TheMawn
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
I fail to see anything relevant to real-world work
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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
An artificial construct designed to maximize addiction - in the real world and in real military strategy, "haste makes waste" is extremely important, i.e. there is a constantly shifting situational optimum which punishes both excessive slowness and speed.
By all means. In Chess, they had to add something to punish excessive slowness, but otherwise it's entirely true and I'm not saying it isn't. Just like everything, Starcraft is not all about speed, but it will punish you for being too much slower than the opposition. It's a question of judging the tradeoff between speed and accuracy.

In the real world and in real military strategy, you'll have an entire room full of people planning an attack for weeks and there are probably less soldiers on the ground than armchair generals planning the strike. And for sure, if you have the resources at your disposal, by all means use them. Starcraft just stresses the machine differently. You have extremely limited planning capacity (one guy with mere seconds vs two dozen tacticians with months) and it's an exercise in doing as much as you can with what little you have.

Here's an example. The opponent has three fronts, all of which are weak. Do I split my force into three and attack each one simultaneously albeit in a somewhat sloppy manner, or do I focus on one much more accurately controlled push? Within seconds, the environment might change and the right decision will change with it. All the while, I have to manage my infrastructure, keep production up, and anticipate and respond to any of his counter-play.


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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
You confuse piece complexity with strategic complexity. "Calvinball" has complex rules, too.
You're confused because you fail to see that piece complexity breeds strategic complexity. Where do you think the Chess vs Checkers comparison comes from? One (you can make a case for two) variety of pieces. It is strategically less complex because there is less strategy to be developed from a very constrained framework.

Calvinball has complex rules but those rules just constrain the framework of the game.


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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
...because hyperactive repetitive mouse-clicking teaches useful real-world skills, no doubt. (And chess has tournament and blitz modes, btw).
I never said that Chess is bad. I enjoy a game of Chess, too. And for similar and different reasons. Where Chess teaches you to think ahead and manage your turn-based "time" (I have to do this, this and this before that happens), Starcraft teaches you to make decisions as quickly and accurately as possible by punishing you for acting too slowly or not accurately enough.


Any activity that is exhausting in some manner is some form or training. You're tired after a long jog? Next time, your endurance will be slightly better. Your arms are sore after a canoe trip? Next time, your arms will be slightly bigger and stronger. You're mentally exhausted after a game of Starcraft? Next time, the decisions will come more easily and you'll have more mental endurance.

Maybe if you sit around all day, stronger arms stronger cardio are not "useful life skills" but as a person whose brain is their biggest asset, I don't think I should have to explain to you that any activity that makes it faster and gives it more stamina is helpful.
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Old 2014-06-15, 21:41   #35
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Any activity that is exhausting in some manner is some form or training. You're tired after a long jog? Next time, your endurance will be slightly better. Your arms are sore after a canoe trip? Next time, your arms will be slightly bigger and stronger. You're mentally exhausted after a game of Starcraft? Next time, the decisions will come more easily and you'll have more mental endurance.
Good examples - but, whereas physical activity has been widely demonstrated to improve not just physical health but also cognitive functioning, the claims you make about gaming are at best disputed:
Quote:
Brain fitness can be measured physically at the cellular level by neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons, and increased functional connections of synapses and dendrites between neurons. It can also be evaluated by behavioral performance as seen in cognitive reserve, improved memory, attention, concentration, executive functions, decision-making, mental flexibility, and other core capabilities.

Like physical fitness, brain fitness can be improved by various challenging activities such as practicing sports,[18] playing chess or bridge, dancing regularly, practicing yoga and tai chi and also by engaging in more structured computer based workouts.[19] Some research shows that brain stimulation can help prevent age-related cognitive decline, reverse behavioral assessment declines in dementia and Alzheimer’s[20][21][22] and can also improve normally functioning minds.[23] In experiments, comparing some computer based brain boosting exercises to other computer based activities, brain exercises were found to improve attention and memory in people over age 60.[24][25] Other studies have evaluated other brain boosting exercises and not found improvements. A study of 67 schoolchildren aged 10 compared 7 week Nintendo brain training to engaging in pen and paper puzzles. The study found that the brain training group suffered a 17 percent decrease in memory tests after the seven-week course, while the pen and paper group saw an increase of 33 percent.[26] Some experts are skeptical with regard to the real value of particular commercial brain boosting products. For example, a panel of experts gathered by Which? Magazine have concluded that ‘Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training’ for the Nintendo DS will not enhance brainpower at all.[27] However, other researchers underline the growing amount of studies indicating that some commercial brain training products have shown measurable results in improving various cognitive skills.[28][29][30]
And even if you claim from personal experience that playing Starcraft improves your cognitive performance in the ways you mention, do you have evidence that those boosts apply to other kinds of mental challenges? Like those you face in the kind of work you're applying for, for instance?

Quote:
Maybe if you sit around all day, stronger arms stronger cardio are not "useful life skills" but as a person whose brain is their biggest asset, I don't think I should have to explain to you that any activity that makes it faster and gives it more stamina is helpful.
As a potential employer, I would consider evidence of a healthy overall life/work balance useful. And since the kinds of physical exertions you mention tend to be self-limiting in most people - which is reflected in the fact that the western world is suffering from an obesity epidemic and tech-addiction much more than it is from "ultramarathon addiction" - someone putting "canoeing" as a hobby on their CV would worry me much less than "World of Warcraft" in terms of "does this have the potential to distract the person from their work?" Multiday canoeing binges are quite rare compared to gaming ones, methinks.

Hey, look - way back when I was in grad school me and a half-dozen of my fellow PhD candidates who made heavy use of the department compute lab got sucked into a very addictive ascii-based D&D-style game called "nethack". (Primitive interface, but endless complexity in-game.) Spent probably 3-4 months of my life playing that almost full-time. Addictive fun? Hell, yeah. Did it help me in my PhD work? Well, let's just say that any cognitive boosts from playing the game were more than negated by the distraction-from-work aspects.
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Old 2014-06-15, 23:52   #36
Batalov
 
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One could put Project Euler on the CV. But then again, maybe not. (The employer will have a look only to see that the website is down.)

Brainbench - quite likely, and not as a hobby.
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Old 2014-06-16, 08:30   #37
LaurV
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Quote:
...piece complexity breeds strategic complexity...
[trolling]
The game of Go has (arguable) the most complex strategy known, and it is one of the few (the single?) games where, due to the complexity of the strategy, a computer does not stand a chance against a good player. (I am an average Go player, and I still can beat the strongest computer programs, without any doubt, i.e. not like in chess where the computer still wins many or most games).

However, Go has only one type of pieces, and you don't do too much with them...
[/trolling]
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Old 2014-06-16, 10:37   #38
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Hey, look - way back when I was in grad school me and a half-dozen of my fellow PhD candidates who made heavy use of the department compute lab got sucked into a very addictive ascii-based D&D-style game called "nethack". (Primitive interface, but endless complexity in-game.) Spent probably 3-4 months of my life playing that almost full-time. Addictive fun? Hell, yeah. Did it help me in my PhD work? Well, let's just say that any cognitive boosts from playing the game were more than negated by the distraction-from-work aspects.
Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.

I've vowed never again to install nethack on any of my computers.
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Old 2014-06-20, 16:51   #39
Spherical Cow
 
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Just in case you didn't see this- here's an article from the CNN money pages called "Why I put World of Warcraft on my resume".

http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/19/tech...ume/index.html

Not that I agree- I probably see 2 or 3 resumes a week crossing my desk, and most managers I know shy away from people who put too much emphasis on hobbies in the resume. During the interview, no problem, but not in the resume.

Norm
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Old 2014-06-20, 22:52   #40
markr
 
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He's not your average player applying for an entry-level job - this is a guild master applying for executive, CIO of Starbucks, COO of Symantec.
Quote:
Gillett said he includes his World of Warcraft achievements on his resume, because it's not just about role-playing games. It shows he exercises leadership in both the physical and virtual realms. Plus, he understands the current societal fascination with earning points and interactive entertainment.

As a guild master, his current duties and responsibilities include organizing dungeon raids and managing the group's virtual bank. And he has a knack for recruiting key talent. Think mages and warlocks.

Last fiddled with by markr on 2014-06-20 at 22:56 Reason: Added his positions
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