Console Games vs. World of Warcraft: Maybe why some people don’t move out of bad stuff


***Disclaimer:  This is my personal opinion based on observations of my husband.  It’s all totally anecdotal and should be taken as subjective discussion, not fact or even objective.***

My husband has played video games for most of his life.  Between he and his brother, they’ve had almost every game console available.  He’s very good at figuring out the puzzles and general progression of this type of game. He’s the player that had the symbol for lives on Super Mario Brothers.

When he gets in WoW, however, he sort of loses some of his critical thinking/cognitive awareness abilities.  And I have a hypothesis as to why this happens.

Console games, for the most part, are typically from first-person perspective and involve a world that stops when the game turns off.  Also, many games feature a landscape that is really 2-dimensional requiring movement from left to right.  World of Warcraft is a truly in-depth 3D world that never “stops”.  I think players who’ve spent their lives playing console games may have a difficult (mental) time of translating the skills they developed while playing the console games to a more robust game like World of Warcraft because WoW requires a different set of cognitive skills.  I think console game players try to think about WoW as a console game and apply the game framework they are familiar with (the left-to-right movement, single perspective, etc) to this different type of gaming experience.

It’s like trying to (excuse the cliche) stuff a square peg in a round hole.  Console games require reading skills, hand-eye coordination, and a basic understanding of a storyline.  World of Warcraft requires these skills, but also the ability to discern the nuances of lore (the “backstory” of the game), remember game combat mechanics for at least 1000 monsters (and recognize monster types), think critically about other game mechanics related to equipment, items, professions, and reputation standings.  The sheer amount of reading comprehension in WoW required is a heck of a lot more than required by most console games (if any?) and I believe this may put console game players at a slight disadvantage.

Of course, there are plenty of gamers who play both console games and World of Warcraft successfully.  This post is an attempt at explaining my hypothesis as to why my husband keeps telling me “I wasn’t paying attention” or why he just can’t seem to move out of hockey-pucks-of-doom sometimes.  Maybe this makes no sense and is a bunch of hogwash.  Highly likely.  But it’s something to think about when interacting with other players in WoW.

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