Tagged With mmo

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It probably wasn't coincidence that Shane Murphy returned my call just after I'd thrown my third interception in NCAA '09 and punched off the machine in full perfectionist disgust. Murphy, a professor and researcher of psychology at Western Connecticut State, would later explain that I exhibited classic high-ego, low-task gamer behaviour. That is, I am fixated on being seen as a winner, and not the process of becoming one.

Murphy approaches video gaming as a sports psychologist, with 30 years of experience in that field. The American Psychological Association's annual convention in August 2008 discussed research showing the benefits video games deliver in learning and problem solving. Also at the convention, Murphy gave a presentation advocating for the study of competitive and cooperative behaviour in gamers.

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Take Neil deGrasse Tyson, the eminent astrophysicist and all-around popular science ambassador. Now take an MMO, give a VR coat of paint, and dress it up with a gigantic universe where people can grow galaxies, build planets and nurture civilisations.

That's the pitch for Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey, anyway.

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Before the recent wave of excitement around new virtual reality technology convinced everyone that the future was inside of a headset, people longing to escape the constraints of their everyday lives invested their hopes and dreams in ugly looking worlds housed on distant computer servers. Massively multiplayer online games offered a meaningful substitute to the real world not because of how faithfully it could duplicate it, but because of how little it tried to.

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I didn't expect to get so into StarBreak. It's a free-to-play sidescrolling MMO — think Contra, but with, like, 30 other people swarming around you — where every death counts. If you die, loot and stats go out the window. Despite that, it's weirdly relaxing to play.

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The fun with MMOs, RPGs or games that use elements of both is that the statistics behind them can get very tricky. And if you're playing something that takes elements from both those genres and happens to have a heavy PvP element, it's worth knowing how all the stats works.

That's especially true for people who have been enjoying The Division, a game that is rapidly growing a strong following. Fortunately one bloke has broken down everything you need to know.