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Defcon mention at 1up article

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:03 am
by Nutter
Just noticed the following at 1up today in a story about fear and mistrust in video games:

"n a recent game of global thermonuclear war, I made a pact with Europe. We'd respect each other's airspace while teaming up to pummel Asia into a self-lighting, glass floored parking lot. We'd make cookies together afterward. Maybe braid each other's hair and have a pillow fight. The reds lost three quarters of their population and we didn't take much hurt in reprisal (with the exception of Las Vegas, which I always allow to take a hit or two for the sake of biblical appropriateness). In the last minutes of the game, however, the Euros surfaced subs up and down the Atlantic coast and took out most of the eastern seaboard before I had time to pull my pants up. This wasn't just a spur of the moment betrayal. It was clearly one that had been planned from the moment we'd made our pact. I came in second, and loved every minute of it."


"...My first example, taken from a game of Defcon, hints at this kind of psychological and social tension, and other real-time strategy games likewise allow for similar temporary alliances."


Full story here

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:21 pm
by - Tobias -
Thank you for sharing this.

Contrary to some of the Commentors, I found this article very interesting. The "definition" and discussion of trust is perfect, imo, in that it captures the aspect of behavioral prediction of others for ones own purposes. At its bottom it is such a Darwinian thing.

Backstabbing is certainly a topic worthy of consideration, and the gaming environment is an easy way to simulate and study this social phenomenon. I was disappointed, however, that the thrust of the article was to suggest that there is such a thing a "good" backstabbing.

My experience in gaming environments is that while backstabbing frequently provides short-term advantage, in the long-run the player community bands together in some fashion so as to penalize this strategy beyond the advantages it might offer. Typically, this type of banding together occurs in games where players are uniquely named. Thus, these names become banished in a sense.

Defcon already delivers the type of backstabbing-potential environment the article seems to call for, and even more: it is somewhat difficult to detect a "good" Defcon backstab, and players can use aliases so as to avoid the penalties of banishment. Certainly backstabbing is part of the game with Defcon, and I, like everyone else, have just come to accept it that way. But I do find it rather interesting that the most popular game servers running Defcon today are those that do not allow backstabbing. I believe this reflects well upon the Defcon player community. Perhaps human civilization has some chance after all.